Professional nature photographers apply their skills to virtual travel destination

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Only in Lapland, the official travel marketing channel for Finnish Lapland, invited three of the north's most prominent nature photographers, Terhi Tuovinen, Harri Tarvainen and Daniel Taipale to take a stroll (or in one case, ski) through Virtual Lapland, an immersive 3D travel experience. 

The trio of photographers captured some amazing moments, so Only in Lapland launched a virtual photography Instagram competition to encourage everyone to try out the experience and win a free stay in Finnish Lapland.

Virtual Lapland stands unique among 3D travel offerings as the idea of virtual photography is one of the core ways viewers can interact, specifically within the Arctic Wilderness experience. Acclaimed nature photographers Daniel Taipale, Harri Tarvainen, and Terhi Tuovinen were all asked to explore Virtual Lapland and apply their skills at virtual photography. None of the three had ever tried virtual photography, so it became a learning experience as well as a new way for them to have some fun.

Virtual photography often has similar requirements to real photography: timing, framing and knowledge of what needs to be done after the act of capturing the photo. Terhi Tuovinen said, "The experience of taking a picture was really fun, and I approached it just like a real photo. I explored the virtual world and took photos of interesting places and moments. Afterward, I went through the pics and chose a favorite. I edited them just as I would a real photo, treating the screenshot like a raw image straight from a camera."

One major advantage that Virtual Lapland has over the real thing is that visitors can come anytime, anywhere. Daniel Taipale said, "It was really great to jump right into the forest from my office chair."

"Photography is one of the main attractions of real Lapland," says Salla-Mari Koistinen, tourism program manager for House of Lapland. "We know that people come from all over the world to capture our stunning midnight sunsets, magical blue moments and the mesmerizing Northern Lights. As we developed Virtual Lapland, one of our first ideas was to make it easy to take photographs. We want everyone to explore our virtual world, snap all the photos they want, and get a real sense of what a winter or summer holiday to Finnish Lapland might entail."

Only in Lapland doesn’t want Daniel, Harri and Terhi to have all the fun, so they’ve created the Virtual Lapland Photography Competition. This Instagram contest allows users all over the world to play with virtual photography. The grand prize for the competition is a two-night stay at the Lapland Hotel Sky Ounasvaara in Rovaniemi, Finland as well as a Lapland Safaris activity for two. Additionally, five random winners will receive a set of postcards based on their entries.

More information about Virtual Lapland:

Virtual Lapland experience: 

Get to know the photographers at Instagram: @terhituovinen @harritarvainen and @dansmoe

More information:

Salla-Mari Koistinen, program manager,
destination marketing,

Virtual Lapland -project is funded by South Savo Regional Council from Funding for the development of tourism in the regions. Project is operated by House of Lapland as part of destination marketing program Only in Lapland.

House of Lapland is a marketing and communications house for the Finnish Lapland. We promote Lapland as a travel and business destination as well as a filming location and a place to live. Most importantly, we share stories of the life above ordinary.