Jörgen Språng, steward at the Bit Viking, who is a familiar name, won the Nordic photo contest for the seventh time. Portraits of colleagues on board have been a jury favourite over the years. This time, it was a self portrait in beautiful "graphic" surroundings that was awarded the gold both at home in Sweden and in the Nordic contest.

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Jörgen Språng, steward, MT Bit Viking, won the first prize for "Self Portrait".  SWEDEN

At first, it seems a little staged, but the photo has heaps of volume. The scale of the objects emerge thanks to the person in the picture. It is a powerful photo with a lot going on, and it quicly became a favourite. There are lines creating symmetrical triangles, and these triangles often make a picture photo-technically exciting. There are also contrasts between the hull and the illuminated propeller. A dim reflection of the propeller is seen in the rudder. Although it may appear that the person has been put there for the photo, it could just as well be a surveyor inspecting someting. It is a nice touch to portray the little person in the vast surroundings.


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The Jury. Photo: Trine Carin Tynes

The press photographers Alfred Aase and Jan Kåre Ness made up the Norwegian jury. Aase was happy to revisit th e seafarers' photos since he was also part of the Nordic jury the last time the contest was hosted in Haugesund ten years ago. Aase and Ness were very impressed by the selection and eager to start. After two hours the jury was ready to present the result. 75 photos had been reduced to 5 winners. The jury also decided to give honourable mention to another five photos that stood out in one way or another.

The photos speak for themselves – the jury receives no additional information. When the winning photos had been revealed, it turned out that there was an unusually even distribution between the participating countries. In total, Norway had the highest number of photos in the selection, where Daniel Möllerström at the Njord Viking won both the third and the fourth prize, and two other Norwegian contributions received honourable mention. Iceland and Finland were also represented among the winning photos, and Denmark received honourable mention for one contribution. Here are the other winning photos and the comments from the jury.

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Hlynur Ágústsson, able seafarer at the stern trawler þórunn Sveinsdóttir, came in second with "Arbeider i all slags vær" (which means "working in all kinds of weather"). ICELAND

"As press photographers we have a weak spot for photos like this one – what we call real photos. What we see is what is actually going on, and it provides an insight into the everyday life of these men. It is both dramatic and contains a lot, which in turn tells us a story about their daily life. The fact that it is taken while it is dark outside, makes it even better. You can spot the floodlights, which indicate that it is night time. It was not hard to select this photo. It was hard, however, to decide which of the top three prizes it should get."


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Daniel Möllerström, able seafarer, MS Njord Viking, won the third prize with "Inspection of Anchors". NORWAY

"Here is a photo portraying work on the ship, and it has a lovely composition. The two workers are sitting close to the anchor, which helps us understand the dimensions of the vessel. The chain, which comes out from the picture, creates beutiful lines. The photo has good technical qualities and the horizon is level. It was taken at dusk or dawn. The sky is pretty and the colours lovely."


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Daniel Möllerström, able seafarer, MS Njord Viking , also won the fourth prize with the photo "Coffee Break". NORWAY

"Catching a friendship moment. The mood is good, they are laughing and enjoying themselves. All in all it is a very nice picture. There is good content, and it feels real and not staged. It has many elements that catch our attention. There is good humour and laughter during what looks like a break form the work. The snus box and coffee mug indicate the break in this lovely black and white photo."


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Jan Wikström, captain on the Odda Marie, won the fifth prize with the photo "Amsterdam Roads". FINLAND

"Photos like this one are often dismissed as clichés, but this is a great photo. There are many beautiful lines and lovely colours. The fact that the subject is not centered, makes the composition stronger than it would have been with a centered subject. It is easy to over edit subjects like these to strengthen the colours and increase the contrast, but here the editing is modest and just right. There is no excessive use of Photoshop, only a neutral and real photo. There are also ships in the background and a level horizon."


Honourable mentions

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HO 1 - Leena Numminen, «Going home», waitress – the Silja Serenade - FINLAND

"The photo is not perfect technically. But we have focused on the content which tells a story through the suitcases in the foreground. Our guess is that the story of the photo is about someone signing off and travelling home or somewhere else. We don't know this, of course, but the photo tells a story, and that was what pulled us in."


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Ho 2 – Jörgen Språng, "Always a smile", steward, MT Bit Viking – SWEDEN

"This is a nice black and white everyday photo that speaks for itself. We love the content. The person is sitting there with his brush and paint laughing, and in the background we can see two persons working or talking, giving the photo depth."


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Ho 3 – Jmaurr Og, "Stretching mee legs", the Jens Mærsk – DENMARK

"We spent some time on this photo. Traditionally, it has been important to have a foreground, a main subject and a background, and this photo really has all three elements. Besides, it is kind of quirky and funny. You could call it a selfie."


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HO 4 - Fredrik Almenningen Rosså, "Daconnett drill" - 2nd officer, the Stril Mermaid – NORWAY

"In this photo we really liked the colours, the dark against the red, white and yellow. We are on our way into the water and the persons are laughing. It is a lively picture where it is clear that they are excited and apprehensive and eager at the same time. The lovely vibrant colours are mixed nicely with the clear grid pattern."


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Ho 5 – Reanmer Jean B. Baldoza, "Sea of Heaven", 3rd Mate, the Star Lygra/Star Livorno – NORWAY

"There is a pleasant mood in this photo, and it has many elements that can only be seen in the sea of fog when you look in more detail. The cold colours create a cool picture with fine lines and a level horizon, and we can spot a ship in the background."

The Nordic photo contest for seafarers is a joint event for the Norwegian Maritime Authority, Sea Health & Welfare in Denmark, Sjömansservicebyrån in Finland, Sjómannablaðið Víkingur in Iceland and Sjöfartsverket in Sweden.

The photo contest for 2023 has already started, and continues throughout the year.

You can find more information here: Photo contest for seafarersk – the Norwegian Maritime Authority