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The Brändää Provinssi photography contest’s winning photos’ countryside is exciting and dynamic – a place where the dreams of individuals as well as new livelihoods can come true

The contest ran from 18 May to 1 August 2011. The goal was to create new, unconventional and imaginative stock photography to depict the countryside of the future.


“With a fresh and unconventional approach, the finalists excelled at capturing the many dimensions of the countryside. Entrepreneurship in the countryside is becoming more diverse, enabling people to do the same things that are available in cities. Modern technology offers new opportunities to work without the limits of time and space. The photos also illustrate the connections and encounters between the countryside and urban life. The strict division between cities and the countryside is a thing of the past. The pictures also prove that the peace and serenity of the countryside are still appreciated, as is all-natural food. Moreover, the countryside fosters ecological lifestyles and the traditional sense of community in a new way. Many of the photos include people, especially young ones, but the chain of generations is also displayed. The countryside can also make your wildest dreams come true. Many high-quality art photos were submitted to the contest, but the main purpose was to find images that are suitable for use in various contexts”, describe the judges. For this reason, they paid special attention to the messages the photos conveyed.

The contest ran from 18 May to 1 August 2011. The goal was to create new, unconventional and imaginative stock photography to depict the countryside of the future.

A total of 360 photos were submitted to the contest. Of these, 115 were selected to be displayed in a virtual gallery through which it is also possible to purchase the photos. The gallery can be found at The three winning photos along with the nine other finalists selected by the judges will be displayed in an exhibition in the context of Sitra’s events.


First prize: “Gym balls”, three-photo series, Annika Mannström, eur 5,000
Second prize: “Chili man” and “Vines grow in Finland”, two-photo series, Milla von Konow, eur 3,000
Third prize: “Swimming break”, Johannes Wilenius, eur 1,500

Other finalists

Tuike Ekroos, Tuomas Kaakinen, Hasse Kauhanen, Milla von Konow, Mikko Lagerstedt, Petteri Löppönen, Ilkka Niskanen, Petri Minni and Olli Salo.

Winner of the public vote

A public vote between the finalist photos was organized 15 August to 7 September 2011. The winner of the public vote is a photo called “The Lonely Fisherman”, photographer Mikko Lagerstedt.

Judges’ comments about the finalists

1. price, “Gym balls” (three-photo series)

A skillfully made photo series with an excellent visual expression. It is an exciting and dynamic interpretation of the new possibilities of the countryside. A surprising and positive perspective is portrayed on the hay bales seen in the borders of fields. The photos combine the true countryside, as well as youth and an active attitude. The situation is real since the alpinists are practicing for the competition season in the winter. The farmhouse children used to jump in the hay stacks and now on the hay bales – with the permission of the farmer of course.

2. price, “Chili man” and “Vines grow in Finland” (two-photo series)

The countryside has entered the city. Dreams are fulfilled in these photos – if you can’t get good ingredients from the store, grow them yourself. The individual answers the demand bravely by offering self grown, clean and domestic products. Looking up indicates a positive attitude towards the future. Pensioners’ and youngsters’ hobbies and entrepreneurship meet in these two photos. Small-scale farming offers new alternatives for all ages both in the countryside as well as the city. The photos offer a surprising perspective – what all can possibly be grown in Finland now and in the future? “Finland is there where the pepper grows and the wine flourishes”.

3. price “Swimming break”

This photo illustrates the freedom and alternatives the countryside offers. A recording studio by the lake enables a swimming break in the middle of a work day. In the photo itself, there are a lot of rich details and many messages that demonstrate the possibilities the countryside can provide: work without the limits of time and space, a beautiful nature close by, being in the peace of the countryside and hectic work environment at the same time. The photo well expresses the possibilities that modern technology can offer when choosing a job. Work can be done in an inspiring environment and then again there is need for skillful workforce and location doesn’t have to be a constraint. Nowadays, a creative person can be in the global network, a part of a community but still in the countryside’s peace. Work without the limits of time and space is possible – without losing the sense of belonging to a community.


Eeva Hellström, Sitra (chair); Lotta Eerola, Advertising Agency PHS; Anu Harkki, KOTOliving production company; Päivi Kujala, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Kaisa Rastimo, film director; and Tapani Ruokanen, Suomen Kuvalehti.

Preliminary jury

Mikko Säteri, Finnfoto, the Central Association of Finnish Photographic Organisations (chair); Kati Hienonen, Perhosvaikutus Oy; Päivi Hirvola, Sitra; Liisa Jokinen, photographer, style blogger; Sirpa Karjalainen, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; and Antti Routto, Reputation Management Consultancy Pohjoisranta.

The rules of the contest were prepared in collaboration with Finnfoto, the Central Association of Finnish Photographic Organisations. The photography contest was sponsored by Canon and Kamera magazine.

The winning photos can be found at

More information and photo inquiries:

Eeva Hellström, Sitra,, +358503512412
Hanna-Leena Ottelin, Sitra,, +358503769499 » »