Caring for our forests globally
National Sites

The forest and the mountains are my second home

Jan 08 2019

In 2018 we held the second ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest. We asked photographers and forest lovers from around the world to show us what forests meant to them and received more than 12,000 stunning photos!

From those images, we chose our 12 winners. Have a look at them here!

All the winning photographers shared the background stories of their photos with us. We will be showcasing the images and stories for every month of 2019.

In January, photographer Francisco Costa takes us to the top of a mountain in the Portuguese Serra da Estrela. His image ‘Hora de ouro’ (Golden Hour), shows a sunlit valley in the middle of the mountains.

January Francisco Costa

How do you feel about forests, both professionally and personally?

The forest and the mountains are like a second home to me. Whenever I have some free time, I grab my photo equipment and walk on the trails of the forest in search of the best photo, be it at sunset or before sunrise. Sometimes I walk for hours to get into that forest, or wait for hours to photograph that sunrise!

How did the forest inspire you to take your winning photo?

I took the photo on a foggy morning in the area of Covao da Ametade in Central Portugal, where we went to photograph the sunrise. We took the slope of the Poço do Inferno (The Sunrise at the Pit of Hell) when we got to this fantastic natural light show. We had to get our equipment out as fast as possible and capture the moment before the cloud cover closed again. It's hard to get up early and head to the top of the mountain, but when walking through the forest and coming across wonderful scenes like the one on my photo, everything is forgotten!

What do you think about the work that an organization such as PEFC does to care for forests?

The forest is my inspiration and the place where I feel good! Unfortunately, since October 15, 2017 when a terrible fire took away the whole forest around me, I have to travel to places further away from my home. But even if it requires some travelling, I can still take photos and be in touch with nature! So I trust and believe that associations like PEFC can help preserve and protect our forests!

Related news

About the contest

After the first ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest in 2017, we held a second one in 2018. Taking place in 16 countries, over 12,000 photos entered into the 2018 contest, which is even more than in the first year!

From the thousands of photos showing wildlife, work, leisure and learning in the forest, we chose our top 12 images, which we will be showcasing throughout 2019.