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Nature and lakes prevail in Finland's postage stamp contest

People overwhelmingly voted for pristine nature images in Finland's most beautiful postage stamp competition.

Jari Hakalan Pilviä Saaristossa kuvasta muotoutui Stiina Hovin suunnittelemana Suomen kaunein postimerkki 2017.
Jari Hakala's photograph became the 2017 winning postage stamp designed by Stiina Hovi. Image: Jari Hakala & Stiina Hovi

Finland's best-liked stamps in 2017 featured traditional nature scenes and saunas in the Finnish postal service's annual postage stamp contest.

A clear preference in theme was noted when nine of the top ten most voted images centred around nature, whilst the top four images were exclusively of lakes. Only one image broke the top ten theme of nature which was the fifth-placed image of the Finnish flag.

The winner of the competition was a design submitted by Stiina Hovi with her postage stamp called Calm and Tranquil (Tyynen rauhallisesti). The photograph used in the image was Jari Hakala’s Archipelago Clouds (Pilviä saaristossa).

The winning postage stamp got approximately 10 percent of all votes. The competition proved to be a great success for Hovi as six of her designs made it into the top ten.

Student’s sauna scene places second

Jyväskylä student Anselmi Aumo, 18, captured the image that came in second place. The image is of a sauna building against a sunset backdrop. The stamp itself was designed by Klaus Welp.

The image, aptly titled Sauna, already gained success last summer in the joint Posti and Ilta-Sanomat competition for the best sauna photograph, among four chosen winners. The photograph was captured at Midsummer 2015 in Saarijärvi.

”The past few days had been beautiful summer nights and sunsets. I figured this could make quite a great picture. My uncle had a sauna by the lake and I noticed it was quite beautiful, so I took the picture,” Aumo recalled.

Klaus Welp suunnitteli Anselmi Aumon saunakuvasta Suomen toiseksi kauneimman postimerkin 2017.
Klaus Welp designed Finland's 2017 second most beautiful postage stamp from Anselmi Aumo's sauna photograph. Image: Anselmi Aumo & Klaus Welp

These days Aumo has stuck to capturing his holidays, friends and nature images. Previously he would photograph for occasional odd jobs with a few of his images landing on online news sites.

Aumo does not dream of a photography career, but rather plans to study business once he has completed high school.

The number of votes in the contest grew from 2016’s 42,407 votes to last year’s record number of 51,000, according to Posti.

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