A day spent in nature is never a lost day

Julian Rad, a runner up in our 2018 ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest, shares the story behind his image ´Sniffling'.

A day spent in nature is never a lost day

18 April 2019 Forests in photos

As spring arrives in Geneva, forests are coming back to life and animals are enjoying the first warm days, we hear from Julian Rad, a runner up in our 2018 ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest.

Julian tells us about his photo ‘Sniffling’ and why forests and wild animals are his favourite photo motives.


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

It is fascinating what a positive influence spending time in a forest can have. It is meditative and deeply calming to cut myself off from the noise, the crowds of people, the smog and the hectic pace of the city. For me, there is nothing more beautiful than spending time in the forest with wild animals.

I often spend several weeks in the forest for photo projects. Only then, when looking and listening closely, I realize how many different animal species live in the forest.

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

I let myself be inspired by the sounds of the forest and let the colours work their magic while I am photographing. I took the photo of the squirrel on a warm day in April in a mixed forest. It took me several days to shoot the perfect photo. Often I went home without a photo, but that is no problem. A day spent in nature is never a lost day for me – with or without photos.

Nature photography can be challenging and is never a hundred percent predictable, as all wild animals have their own will. Sensitivity, species knowledge and patience are required – and sometimes one simply has to be at the right place at the right time to capture the perfect picture.

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

The constant growth of population leads to the loss of living space for many animals. In order to cover people’s demand for food, forests are cleared and the habitat of animals is destroyed. Instead of forests, monocultures emerge as vegetables and grains are cultivated. It would be nice if more organizations stood up for the protection of forests and the environment. PEFC is a great model on this matter!

About the contest

In 2018, we held our ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest for the second time. 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 – all of which can be seen here.


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