2021 PEFC Photographer of the Year – winner announced!

Have a look at the winning photo of our 2021 'Experience Forests, Experience PEFC' photo contest - the best of 5000 photos entered into the contest!

2021 PEFC Photographer of the Year – winner announced!

16 November 2021 Forests in photos

The wait is over! We are excited to announce the 2021 PEFC Photographer of the Year, chosen from 5000 photos entered into the ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest.

The Award went to Vitalii Popkov for his image ‘The Man and the Forest’, taken in Zamagora Verkhovyna, Ukraine. The photo shows a man taking wood out of the forest with a horse.

“This photo is interesting for me, because it is like a window in the portal of time. Looking at it, you are immersed somewhere in the middle of the twentieth century, at least,” Vitalii explained.

“In general, forests have a powerful, even magical effect on me and my work.”

“The winning photo is amazing and timeless,” our CEO Ben Gunneberg commented. “Harvesting wood with horses is becoming more common again, especially for small forest owners, bringing back an old tradition.”

For the second time, we presented the finalists and the winning photo on Facebook Live. Two photographers – Lukas Prins and Victor Rodriguez – shared what makes the photo so special from a photography point of view, and why the jury chose it as the winner.

“The use of black and white in this photo is admirable, because it removes distraction from anything, except the subject. The white background created by the snow brings the man, his horse and the log out towards the viewer,” said Lukas.

“The man’s look is focused on his horse. He seems ready to react and help his teammate at any moment,” added Victor. “I like the idea of collaboration between human and animal. We can feel the kindness in the man’s attitude.”


The contest

Our ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest invited photographers and forest lovers from around the world to show us their best forest photos. And they really delivered – we received 5000 stunning images!

National contests were run by our members in eleven countries, and the photos entered show the beauty of forests worldwide. The winners of the national contests entered the international contest to compete for the ‘2021 PEFC Photographer of the Year’ Award.


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