Do I need a briefing?
Briefing is mandatory for all photographers with no previous experience on photographing from a photography hide. The briefing, carried out by a professional guide, includes valuable photography tips: how to work in the hide, how to use the heater, how to interpret the behavior of the birds, how to check the backgrounds, where to place the food, etc. This information will significantly improve first-time results.
Do I have the hide for myself?
Most of the hides are for 1 or 2 people, with one big hide for 4 people, so there may be other photographers in the hide with you. If you want a private hide, or a photography session for your group only, it is available at an additional cost.
What is the difference between a sitting-level and a sleeping-level hide?
Our sleeping-level hides are designed to give an angle of view as close as possible to the level of the birds. In early spring the hides are on the ice, but as spring progresses we take them to the shore. The working position in the sleeping-level hide can sometimes become strenuous or tiring. Observing the birds is also more challenging than at sitting level, but when successful, the images are more spectacular due to the more advantageous photographing angle. Sitting-level hides, with the exception of the four-person-hide, are also placed on ice, where the photography position is more comfortable than in the sleeping-level hides. If you want a sleeping or sitting level hide, let us know in advance, we will try our best to accommodate your wishes.
What time of the year can you photograph?
The photography season on this site is in the spring (about 1 April to 10 May). The length of the season varies slightly from year to year depending on the arrival of Whooper Swans in Kuusamo, as well as the melting of the ice in front of the hides. Some of the hides will be placed on the ice during the photography session, so the season may end earlier if the spring is warmer than normal and the ice melts quickly.
How long does one photography session last?
The photography session lasts 4 to 6 hours. The waterfowl hides have the option of either a morning session (around 4 to 9 am) or an evening session (around 4 to 9 pm).
What kind of clothing do I need for the photography hide?
In April and May, there may still be frost at night, which is why we recommend warm winter clothes such as wool socks, gloves, a hat and thermal layers, with winter boots and jacket. It’s possible to heat the hides with gel heaters. If you do not have your own, we have warm boots and winter overalls that you can rent.
What is the distance to the birds and what kind of lens and equipment do I need to take with me?
The hides are on the shore of a lake, and also on the ice, in front of an open water area, which is where the swans are. Grain is put out for the swans and cranes, as well as fish for the eagles, approx 20 to 40 metres from the hides.
We recommend 100-400mm / 150-600mm zoom lenses or 300-600mm telephoto lenses + extenders (optional). For birds in the landscape, it’s possible to use shorter lenses, for example 70-200 mm.