I keep returning to Scandinavia, often to Stockholm, and enjoy walking through its urban expanse, finding photos amidst both crowds and quiet. I find during summer, when the days grow long, it can become something of an un-destination as areas empty out a bit. For example, Helsinki becomes somewhat of a ghost town as people vacation further north. For a traveler from abroad, jet lag combined with the late sunsets makes (for me) acclimatizing to the local time challenging. For many days, on a recent trip to Uppsala, I found myself up through the night, wandering in thought, leaving me during the days to move through the city almost in an in-between state.
So, maybe more a product of a particular mental state than a physical sensation, I offer up something of a record of an un-destination trip through Uppsala, Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm, and points in-between. Recently, I have taken to travelling quite sparsely in terms of equipment, to narrow my technical choices and thus attempt to force a more pronounced need for creativity.
On this trip I only took two fixed lenses, one wide angle and one telephoto, forbidding a standard perspective. At the same time, maybe due to jet lag and increased amounts of caffeine, I struggled to provide a documentary style to the work, but documentary of what exactly, I was not sure.
Uppsala’s central district, approaching the University, one of the oldest in Europe, is a mix of older and newer architecture, transected by a stone canal on which cobble stone walking paths border.
Oslo, in comparison, near the central station, was raucous all through the night, with youth celebrating the middle of summer. I enjoyed walking through some of the excitement but dreaded an early morning departure by train, through the mountains towards Bergen.
But, what a reward, that early morning alarm, getting us to central station on time. Travelling by rail towards the old port city of Bergen was a study in moon-like landscapes quite different from the lush forest and placid fjords surrounding Oslo.
I am more comfortable in solitude and the crowds of tourists around Flam, waiting for a packed ferry to transit the Sonjefjord towards Bergen, quickly brought me back to earth. Headphones helped to restore a sense of isolation and mental space to be able (for me, at least) continue to appreciate the surrounding lanscapes, with small villages bordered by dark green hills.
It is here that my jet lag finally won, as I am told by my wife that I slept through some of the most beautiful areas, finally having secured a seat. Un-destination indeed. Bergen was altogether different, with a quiet beauty informed by stone plazas running up towards a steep hill. I was reluctant to take the Fløibanen funicular up to the top of Mount Fløyen, but we managed to make time before our flight to Stockholm.
For our troubles, we were well rewarded by a garden of Trolls, and the opportunity to hike back down in with more quiet and space than the narrow funicular afforded.
Stockholm in late evening was a study of light in transition and attempting to capture, ever more slowly, the quality of how the light reflected from windows and water, and shadows played across old stone.
On this trip, pictures were shot with Sony A7R Mark III with Zeiss Loxia 25/2.4 and Leica 90mm Summicron-M (pre-ASPH) lenses, developed in Capture One.
P.S. Oh yes, one more picture of a bicycle, in Dear Susan tradition:
Some more of my work can be found at http://innercapture.com.
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