In 2017, the Regional Council of Kainuu in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a photo competition Century of Nature Photography. The contest period was from 11 August until 31 October 2017. The winners – Aleksander Medvedev, Andrey Zudov and Vitaly Istomin – were announced and awarded the prizes during the seminar held in Kuhmo 10 November 2017.

The idea of the competition was to capture beautiful moments from the Barents Area. Thus, nature and tourism related images – pictures of animals, people and nature overall – were sent to the organizers. The main purpose of the competition was to improve cooperation and efficiency of the joint marketing actions of the various actors within the Barents region. The contest facilitated access to over 1.800 high-quality photographs featuring local attractions and nature of the Barents region, which the local tourism industry can use for its own marketing purposes in the future.

The project has become an example for some other photo competitions which are inspired by the Discover Barents. It has been decided that a photo competition will be a biannual event: the next contest will be announced in spring-summer 2019 during the Finnmark chairmanship in the Barents Regional Council under the topic Barents Youth.