Newt snap wins Finland's nature photo of the year award

The winning photographer said he couldn't see through the lens when he took the shot, so he just had to hope he had lined it up correctly.

The winning photograph is entitled Liskomies (Lizard Man). Image: Pekka Tuuri

An image captured underwater of a smooth newt has been named Finland's nature photograph of the year for 2021.

The award's jury said the image provided a unique insight into the exotic habitat of the newt, saying the amphibian appears as if floating in space.

"The landscape on the other side of the surface of the water seems to draw the animal from its everyday environment," the jury said.

Winning photographer Pekka Tuuri said he was swimming just centimetres from the newt when it went to the surface for air.

"At that point, I couldn't see anything through the lens, so I just had to hope that the manual settings were correct and the subject was in the right place," Tuuri said.

Story continues after the photo.

Photographer Pekka Tuuri poses with his award-winning Liskomies (Lizard Man) photo at the Nature Photo of the Year event in Helsinki on 23 October. Image: Lehtikuva / Jussi Nukari

Espoo resident Tuuri is the fifth photographer in the history of Finland's nature photo competition to claim the award more than once. He last won 11 years ago.

The results were announced at an event in Helsinki's Finlandia Hall on Saturday evening, as the competition celebrated its 41st year.

A photo taken by Timo Vesterinen called 'Lehdet ja etana' (Leaves and a snail) won the Plants and Mushrooms category. Image: Timo Vesterinen
Stefan Gerrits' snap 'Kamppailu' (Struggle) was the winner of the Birds category. Image: Stefan Gerrits
Aku Kankaanpää's photo Vesihämäkit (Water Spiders) was the Landscapes photo of the year. Image: Aku Kankaanpää
Viimeinen laskeutuminen (The final landing) by Juhani Kosonen was the winner of the Nature's Details and Shapes category. Image: Juhani Kosonen
Jussi Ahokka's photo Suomalaista elämää (Finnish Life) won the Nature and People category. Image: Jussi Ahokas
The under-18 category was won by Julius Isotalo with this image. Image: Julius Isotalo
Sydämeni on kevyt kuin perhonen (My heart is as light as a butterfly) by Hannu Ahonen won the Free and Creative category. Image: Hannu Ahonen