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Photo opportunities in Sweden (near Stockholm)

Philip Greenspun , Aug 03, 1998; 01:46 a.m.

I'm going to be in Stockholm, Sweden August 25-31. I have to work for a couple of hours in the evening of August 26. Otherwise, I'm free and would like to come back with a good new photo/travel essay for photo.net. I'd appreciate suggestions for photo opportunities in Stockholm and environs (should I rent a car?). I don't want to travel too far or too much out of the city but would consider one more hop (i.e., another city or town; the seashore?). I'm particularly interested in strange cultural phenomena, ruined castles, factories, and other non-traditional tourist fare.

I think I'll be taking only one camera system: Canon EOS. I don't want to get get clubbed to death by angry Hasselblad workers if I bring my Rollei 6003 (besides I only have an 80mm lens).

I guess I'll take the 14, 17-35, 24 T/S, 28-70, 50 macro, 70-200, 1.4X converter plus a tripod. Any reason to lug along a big lens (e.g., could borrow a 500 from Canon)?


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Philip Greenspun , Aug 03, 1998; 01:48 a.m.

Oh yes, I should also like to get recommendations for a good camera shop (to buy more film if necessary, Fuji Astia is my preferred all-around slide film these days) and also good E6 and C41 labs.

Peter Bick , Aug 03, 1998; 11:41 p.m.

Phil, a few ideas on Stockholm. I lived there for 2 years and have visited since. First about the car. If you stay in the city and travel nearby, a car is not needed. In fact, unless you know where you are going it is a pain. The Tunnelbana (subway) is excellent and the busses are also good. As for sites, there are 2 places in the city that I particularly like. The old ship Wasa is an old war ship that sank on its maiden voyage in the harbor (early 1600's I believe). It has been brought up, preserved and reassembled cokmplete with some cannon and heavily carved and ornate railings, etc. The last time I visited, the restoration was complete and the plan was to allow visitors on deck. The old town, GamlaStan is the oldest inhabited of the 5 islands of the city and has the royal residence on it as well as many narrow cobbled streets and old buildings and shops. You can cover all of this area easily on foot. There is also a park called Skansen which contains old buildings from around Sweden that were moved and preserved in their natural original state. The park workers dress in native clothing from the various period. You can get some very interesting historic shots there.

Another site of interest off the beaten path is Millesgarden, the workshop home/museum of the sculptor Carl Milles. Milles produced sculptures in metal that defy gravity and depict nordic themes and life around the sea. His home/museum overlooks the harbor and the statues and fountains are on the grounds. This should be very nice during the time you visit.

A visit to the small town of Upsalla, about 65km north of Stockholm is also worth a trip. Old churches, and nordic stones and some old sites to see. A little more time and I would either venture down the coast from Stockholm by car and see the seaside towns and some castles or head inland and northwest to see the countryside. The swedish 'castles' are not quite like those that you would expect in Germany and central Europe.

As for camera shops, I cannot mention one since they have probably changed since I was there last. Film and processing is readily available. You may have to search out the 3 hour E-6 processing on your time schedule.

Best wishes for the trip. You can hardly go wrong. (I can be rented as a mule or guide.)

Ola Fredin , Aug 04, 1998; 06:29 a.m.


I4ve lived in Stockholm for the whole if my life so perhaps I can give you some advise. Your selection of lenses sounds great, I wish I had such lenses :-). You probably dont want to hump a 500 mm lens around though. I can4t think of any obvious reasons unless you plan for som bird shooting. I agree with Peter that you shouldn't miss the old town (Gamla stan). The streets of Gamla stan are really narrow so I mostly use my Nikkor 20 mm but your 24 T/S and 17-35 probably is ideal. I think the interior of the many old churches are fun to shoot. There usually is no problem bringing your camera inside the churches although flash might not be welcome. Other places to visit in central Stockholm is Riddarholmen (Knights island) next to Gamla stan and Svder (South of Gamla stan) where you have som really nice views of lake Mdlaren and central Stockholm. Downtown Stockholm is ugly (I think) from a architectural point of view but there are good opportunitys for street photography. One thing you must not miss is Stockholms skdrgerd (Stockholm archipelago). There are boats to all the major islands in the archipelago leaving from "Strvmmen", downtown Stockholm. With some luck you could have nice shots of traditional farming and fishery on some of the islands. As Peter said there is no need for a car in central Stockholm but you might want to rent a car for a day and drive along lake Mdlaren to visit the castles of Skokloster and Gripsholm and the pitoresque town Sigtuna.

As for camera shops I would recommend Kameradoktorn near subwaystation Stureplan. The lab that most pro uses is Diabolaget on "Brahegatan" near subwaystation Stadion.

You are welcome to send me a mail if you have any questions.

Best wishes Ola

Magnus Aldemark , Aug 04, 1998; 07:24 a.m.

Phil, Stockholm offer lots of good camera shops. The best one is called Kameradoktorn. It's a pro shop, they have almost everything in stock and they're pretty cheap. Kameradoktorn also have a great lab called DOX. They're pretty expensive, but you'll get great results and good service. Both the shop and lab are located at 'David Bagares gata 3' near Stureplan (Subwaystation Vstermalmstorg). It's in downtown, but the street is a bit off and can be hard to find. The shop is worth a visit even if you don't need any film. Another good lab is Diabolaget. I've never used them myself, but haven't heard anything but good things about them.

About photo opportunities, in addition to Peters suggestions, the town 'Birka' may be interesting. It's an old viking town located on the island Bjvrkv in Lake Mdlaren. It's a bit touristic though. You should also go to the part of town called 'Svdermalm'. There you'll find some "weird" shops, places and buildings. And you'll have a great view of downtown Stockholm. Also visit the archipelago or 'skdrgerden'. It's IMO one of the most beautiful places in Sweden. Take a look at 'www.stoinfo.se' for more info about the archipelago.

If you have any other questions about Stockholm, feel free to ask.

Good luck, Magnus.

Ola Fredin , Aug 04, 1998; 07:40 a.m.

Sorry, as Magnus said Kameradoktorn is at Stureplan (subwaystation Vstermalmstorg). I mixed it up with the busstation.


Christian Edstrom , Aug 05, 1998; 10:01 p.m.

As a former Stockholmer, I'll recommend a few places:

As stated above, the Stockholm archipelago is very scenic. Utoe and Moeja are both extremely nice, if somewhat remote. Another nice place, though likely to have more people is Vaxholm. Vaxholm is accessible both by car and boat. The boats leave from central Stockholm, I believe from around where the Royal Dramatic Theatre is.

However, I'd recommend a trip on Maelaren more. You can take a boat to Drottningholm, the Royal residence, which is a fine example of an 18th century Swedish palace. The Drottningholm theatre is also interesting. Drottningholm takes about 45 minutes from downtown by car, probably twice that by boat. Even better, however, I would recommend a sidetrip to Skokloster, a smaller palace built in the 17th century. Additionally, this trip will take you out into the Swedish countryside, while not being more than a 1.5 hour drive from Stockholm. (If even that...)

Another possibility is to get up very early and look for morning light reflecting off Stockholm's gorgeous old buildings. It's the closest thing I've ever seen to alpenglow in a city. Some good spots would be along Strandvagen from Narvavagen down to Sibyllegatan, or (better yet) out toward Skeppsholmen. The view directly in front of Strand Hotel is fantastic. The view from "the Heights of the South" (Soeders Hoejder) could also be very nice in morning. For that, I would drive up along Stadsgardsleden, past where the ferries to Finland dock, and look back toward Old Town.

If you wanted a good cityscape shot, I'd head out toward Norr Maelarstrand (on Kungsholmen) and face due east toward Stadshuset and Riddarholmen. Alternately, cityscapes from Laangholmen might be nice.

And I can only concur, Gamla Stan is fantastic.

Frankly, I don't think you can have too much bad luck, if the sun cooperates. Stockholm is a gorgeous city; writing this makes me long to move back.

If you had more time, I'd insist on a trip to Gotland--I think you'd love the walled city of Visby...

Kaimo Korhonen , Aug 08, 1998; 02:20 p.m.

Hi Phil - this might be a bit off topic but there are lots of photo opportunities if you take a boat to Finland, preferably to Turku. The Stockholm archipelago is worth seeing, Aland islands better still and same goes for the archipelago on the Finnish side. If you decide to land in Turku (not all of the people do, they just cruise) I4ll show you the sights and offer lunch.

Peter Olsson , Aug 11, 1998; 05:39 a.m.

As Christian Edstrvm mentioned above, a visit to Gotland and the town Visby could be your best choice for a day-trip outside Stockholm. The boats to Gotland goes from a town called Nyndshamn south of Stockholm. By train (the trains leaves every 30 or 60 minutes all day long) it takes 60 minutes from Stockholm to Nyndshamn. The fastest boat will take you to Gotland and Visby in about 2,5 hours. It is then possible to leave Stockholm in the morning and be back in the evening. However, I think the walls around Visby looks their best in morning or evening light (tripod). There are of course plenty of hotels in Visby. Visby is in my opinion VERY photogenic, more so than Stockholm is if one only stays for a short time. Of course, since Stockholm is so large you will not get photographically bored there as fast as you will be in small, small Visby. Stockholm changes from one day to another, Visby stays the same. Note that Visby is touristy inside the city-walls, but outside it could be another century. If you are on Gotland you can also take pictures of what is called "raukar", eroded sand-stones on the shores to the ocean. A visit to the bothanical garden in Visby could be interesting too. This would certainly be a hectic day for you but if the weather is all right I think you would enjoy it a lot! For E6-processing I have used Crimson ( http://www.crimson.se ) and I'm happy with them. I have only used them by mail but they are located in Stockholm at Ringvdgen 9.

Anders O. Andersson , Aug 19, 1998; 12:36 a.m.

Among nearby castles I would agree that Drottningholm is worth a visit, not just for the main building but also the ancillary buldings like the copper tents. Such outbuildings disguised as military tents can also be found at the closer-in Haga castle. There is plenty to photograph within Stockholm so there is no need for much travel during such a short visit. A good guide for planning a photograpic journey is "Stockholm, architecture and townscape" by Henrik O Andersson and Fredric Bedoire.

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