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    Through the Wild Taiga with the G-Class.

    Explore Wild Taiga.

    G 500:
    Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 12,1–11,5 l/100 km;
    CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert: 276–263 g/km.¹
    Text: Daniel Schumacher/Pia Feyh | Photos: Konsta Punkka, Jaakko Kahilaniemi, Oliver Astrologo

Road trip Finnland.

Join us on our G-Class road trip through the Finnish wilderness. 10 days on the road, countless adventures, wildlife exploits in the most remote corners of the country.


Climb in and experience the G-Class up close – only via our FB Messenger!


Photographer Konsta Punkka with the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (W 463) in the Wild Taiga in the east of Finland.

Adventure as everyday life.

Konsta Punkka is a wildlife, nature and adventure photographer from Helsinki, Finland. His passion calls for discipline, calm and perseverance. He often spends weeks in the forests of his home country and his latest adventure took him with the G-Class to eastern Finland – a journey along gravel tracks, through bogs and national parks, past crystal clear lakes to the Wild Taiga. Constantly in search of new off-road photo-ops and wild encounters.


Unforgettable nature.

The Wild Taiga is an endless forest of unspoilt nature. What do you find so fascinating about this place?

I know the east of Finland really well now. It’s sheer wilderness, made up of ancient coniferous forests, crystal clear lakes and rivers. You find very few people out here, but a unique abundance of wildlife. I’m overcome by those moments when I’m just sitting there, full of humility, and am simply grateful that I’m able to finance my life like this. I hope I never lose sight of the beauty of this landscape. That’s why I try to tell myself as often as I can that my everyday existence is an adventure. Sometimes, I spend weeks immersed in the nature of my home country, and every time I get an even closer insight into the animals around me. I see the same ones again and again, watch their behaviour and, in the end, am always able to tell a story about them.


The Wild Taiga in the east of Finland.

Impressions.

Composition needs balance.

What kind of imagery do you try to capture with your camera?

Besides bears, foxes, red deer and elks, lynx and wolves are very high up on my list. They’re incredibly shy and it’s really difficult to get close to them. I often spend weeks at a time looking for them. The idea is to find out where and when they hunt or what waterholes they use. Once I’ve established that, the challenge is to photograph them in the right set-up. The composition needs balance. Only then does the picture tell a story.


Weather, light, background, timing – it all has to be right. It’s a matter of sheer luck as well as experience. Wild animals are wild – as mundane as that may sound, it’s extremely important for my work. You never know what the animals are going to do next or how they’re going to react. That demands brutal perseverance. Sometimes, I hunker down for hours in a position and still don’t come away with a good result. Other days, I shoot tonnes of pictures and the memory card is full of usable shots.


Vlog 1.

There are no boundaries with the G-Class.

How do you find the “perfect spot”? How do you plan your trips?

When I’m looking for new spots, I just throw a mattress into the car and set off. I stay on small backroads, try to stay away from main roads and drive slowly. I watch from the car and just stop if I like the look of something. Over time, I’ve developed a feel for good photo spots. Sometimes, I just look on Google Earth for locations that look interesting and promising and then I drive there. I spend a lot of time in the car when I’m on a trip, so a certain degree of comfort is a good thing.


Plus, I often have to drive across rough terrain. There are no boundaries with the G-Class. In lots of places, the Off-Road mode lets me drive further than I could with other vehicles. The vehicle height is really important, too, because I can simply stay in the car and shoot photos through the open window. The animals are usually curious about big, strange objects. They run away after a while, but I can get closer to the animals with the G-Class than I can on foot.


Vlog 2.

Spectacular landscape right on your doorstep.

If you think about wild animals, you immediately imagine the African savannah or impenetrable South-American jungle. Do places like that not appeal to you? Why always Finland?

Sure, the world has plenty of indescribable places on offer. I’ve travelled a lot, but I just feel incredibly at ease in Scandinavia. The north is my home. And it’s often more exciting for me to be able to spend time in my homeland than to travel far away. In Finland, I have this spectacular nature right outside my front door.

A good photographer doesn’t need exotic subject matter to create unique images. If he knows his craft, he can take amazing pictures in his own garden. And that’s what I want to do. I’m always finding something new in the Wild Taiga. A family of bears might walk in front of my lens, then I suddenly hear branches snapping and a huge elk is staring right at me or a squirrel jumps out in front of me. So, there’s plenty happening in my “garden”, too.

Image gallery.