The Arctic in Pictures: Photo Contest Winners

In connection with the launch of Pathways, the Arctic Council hosted a photo contest, inviting people across the Arctic and beyond to share what the Arctic looks like through their lens. The Arctic Council received over 220 images in the following categories: Pathways, Landscapes, People of the Arctic and Plants and Animals. These are the winning photos in each category.


Photo by Alexey Shmatkov

"Through the night and snowfall together with an icebreaker."

Photo by Vladimir Melnik

"Fast changing climate conditions in the high Arctic create new challenges not only for people, but also for polar bears. It’s good to see a well-fed and gentle polar bear on his pathway in summer season on Franz Josef Land islands. The photo was taken during expedition project ‘Open Ocean: Arctic Archipelagos’."

Photo by Siri Uldal

"The Milky Way forms a path in the sky. In the Arctic, only one tip of the Milky Way is visible. It is not the most light-intensive part, usually visible to about Altair or a little longer. The photo is from Kvaløya, close to Tromsø city, Norway, 17 October 2020."

People of the Arctic

Photo by Susan Christianen

"Nenets boy Pavlov with his reindeer and sledge, along the shoreline of Yenisei river in the Siberian tundra, Taymyr peninsula, Russia, June 2017. Pavlov´s family lives all year round in the tundra, keeping the Nenets tradition alive. Pavlov goes to boarding school in Dudinka together with his siblings during autumn, winter and spring, and lives with his family during summertime. He tried to escape from boarding school multiple times, because he prefers to be in the tundra with the reindeer."

Photo by Artem Shilin

Photo taken in Salekhard, 11 August 2020

Photo by Lars Poort

"This photo shows an open-air concert in Nuuk, Greenland on National Day – 21 June 2015."

Plants and animals

Photo by Johanna Grasso

"As parents, mother polar bears are incredibly nurturing, protective and fun loving and are the ultimate example of how to be a good mom. Humans have the clear responsibility to treat all living things with the utmost respect so they, too, can flourish. Earth without viable polar bear populations across the Arctic would be an utter travesty."

Photo by Crystal Glassburn

"A ground squirrel (Urocitellus parryii or siksik in the Iñupiaq language) sits in the autumn sun. Photo taken in Denali National Park, Alaska."

Photo by Klemens Weisleitner

"A sunbathing polar fox that licks his nose is a special moment to witness."  


Photo by Gleb Pilipenko

"Cape Flora with a bird colony of Black-legged kittiwake and Thick-billed murre. Northbrook Island, Franz Josef land."

Photo by Lloyd Pikok

"September Storms" - a photo of our beach taken in Utqiagvik, Alaska."

Photo by Piotr Damski

"From Svalbard, taken at a Trapper Station in Bolterdalen, in a background we can see Gruve 7. Photo taken in 2016."