NORDIc Photo Competition 2020

The 2020 competition had for the first time to be kept digital since the managers of the photo competition were not able to meet because of the Corona restrictions. The digital competition was kept in Denmark and the judges were photographer Liselotte Rasmussen and curator at the Maritime Museum of Denmark.  

In 2020 689 photos were submitted to the competition taken by 116 photographers from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. The 15 best pictures from the national competitions were mixed, and the judges watched them and chose the winners by looking at the pictures on a big screen. The big winner of the year was Sweden.

The criteria for the choice of pictures:
The judges emphasized the human story in seafaring and the technical quality of the photos (light and colours, composition, and framing). The pictures chosen must catch the eye, touch the heart, and encourage reflection. There were many good pictures in the competition that will not be mentioned.

There are prizes for the five best pictures, and the sponsors are:  The Danish Shipowners’ Accident Insurance Association (UFDS), Denmark, Sjøfartsdirektoratet, Norway, Sjöfartstidningen, Sweden, Samtök fyrirtækja í sjávarútvegi (Fisheries Iceland), Iceland og Finnlines, Finland.


Chief cook Jörgen Språng, BIT OKLAND, Sweden

Title: ”Resting” 

 The winning photo contains ove. The seafarer’s face and empty gaze reflect the human story. A silent moment at sea lost in thought. The picture makes you wonder – is he exhausted, thinking about his family or is he just staring at a stain on his shoe? The contrast between the red colour and dusty stained blue, and the combination of the straight and curved lines creates the perfect backdrop for the story in his facial expression.

 Prize: Gift card of 5.000 DKK sponsored by The Danish Shipowners’ Accident Insurance Association (UFDS)

2nd place

Chief engineer Mikael Söderholm, WISBY PACIFIC, Sweden
Title: ”Hanging out on deck” 


The picture emphasizes the continuous story of humans at sea. While the picture is thoroughly modern, the hammock reaches back through history and the countless sailors that came before. The colour scheme and composition suspend the seafarer above deck in a floating and dreamlike state.

Prize: Gift card of  5.000 NKK sponsorered by Sjøfartsdirektoratet, Norway

3rd place

Chief cook Jörgen Språng, BIT OKLAND, Sweden
Title: ”Cramped"

Labour, hardship, and corporation. Gritted teeth. A helping hand. The essence of seafaring is working together for the benefit and survival of all. One hand for yourself and one for the ship. The black and white photo emphasizes all of this.

Prize: Gift Card of 5.000 SKK sponsorered by Sjöfartstidningen, Sweden

4th place
Chief cook Jörgen Språng, BIT OKLAND, Sweden
Title: ”Spacious” 

 This is an amazing photo with high artistic qualities. The photo makes the most of the sparse light available, while the upright framing enhances the vertical lines. Solitude at sea. The confined space. The climbing of stairs and the solitude works well together.
Judges title: “Solitude”

Prize: Gift card of  450 Euro sponsered by Samtök fyrirtækja í sjávarútvegi (Fisheries Iceland), Iceland

5th place

Chief engineer Harri Manninen, AURA, Finland
Titel: ”Ankerkæde” / "Anchor chain"

Another amazing photo. Excellent in colour and composition. An almost complementary colour scheme. A rusty chain that symbolizes how shipping links people, continents, and cultures. A strong link contrasted by decay.


Prize: Gift card of  300 Euro sponsorered af Finnlines, Finland

Honorable mention 

OS Guðmundur St Valdimarsson, Coast guard ship TYR, Iceland

Title: "The diagonal" / "Rett diagonal

It is a very traditional motive - bridge in rough weather. The tilt is right, and you have the contrast between the modern technology the closed front and the chaos and uncontrolled weather outside. Top of its category. Taken on a mobile phone.

Honorable mention

OS Kristján Birgisson, trawler, BREKI, Iceland
Title: “Dangerous work” / “Farligt arbeid”

Catches the essence of working together at sea, you can almost feel the power in the picture, this Is rough work. A lot is going on, but the black & white makes it quieter.



Honorable mention 

Cook Laura Pyytövaara, MT NESTE, Finland
Titel: ”Morning routine”

Maybe not the best photo seen from a technical point of view, but it highlights the moment. This is probably taken by a mobile phone and you feel that you are also waiting in line. It is very much in the 2020. Captures the corona situation.


Honorable mention

Chief engineer Staffan Ahlstrand, IB ATLE, Sweden
Title: "How deep you go" / ”Åmning” 

The lines and the composition is excellent and contrast between the big ship and the small painting brush is amazing. There is just black and white.