The Accidental Tourist: Stockholm's spires

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by SpaceManSpiff, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Bidding us farewell with a glorious show of the northern lights on the bus ride to to the Keflavik airport, we said Goodbye Iceland!

    (The Accidental Tourist: The other Iceland)

    A red-eye flight later... and Hello Sweden!

    To save money of an expensive hotel and avoid the hassle of finding parking in Stockholm, we stayed in a campground cabin in a suburb to stockholm that was within walking distance to the subway.

    While coming up with a game plan for the day (ok fine, it was more like trying to figure out how to buy subway tickets), I grabbed this shot. The not-a-serious-DSLR look of the NEX-6 works for street does the tilt screen.

    SELP1650 16mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec

    20 minutes later and we went from a slightly dystopian concrete jungle to the cobblestones of the Gamla Stan (the Old City). Invigorated after a perfect cup of coffee, I backtracked back to the subway station where nice light was hitting Södermalm. I was drawn to the spires of the old buildings, and the tension between the old and the new.

    SELP 1650 47mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

    I was hoping to get a shot with one of the more contemporary subway cars beneath the tower of Laurinskahuset and the spires of Mariahissen but I ran out of time. I am thrilled with capturing the face of the lone passenger.

    OM 135 f/2.8, f/8, 1/400 sec

    I enjoyed this view of Riddarholmen and its church while waiting on the doorstep of Riddarhuset (The House of Nobility) for our appointment to discuss genealogy findings and get a personal tour.

    SELP 1650 16mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec

    My aunt did a bunch of genealogy research for our friend (the gentleman in the Blue jacket in the first picture) and found out (to his great surprise) that several of his ancestors were noblemen and were pretty important players during the height of the Swedish empire. For me this was interesting as this personal connection made some of the Swedish history come to life in a way I hadn’t experienced before.

    As we meandered toward the Royal Palace, I enjoyed this vibrant, but not overly crowded area of Gamla Stan.

    SELP 1650, 38mm, f/9, 1/25 sec

    Of all the street photos I took that afternoon, it is this B&W one that resonates the most with me.

    SELP 1650, 50mm, f/9, 1/500 sec

    In the middle of this busy intersection as city life swirled and pulsated around them, this couple tried and failed to say goodbye. They were so in love; it was unmistakable, beautiful, and inspiring.

    Down by the the south side of Gamla Stan where the ferry to Djurgården leaves from there were two men huddling over the LCD screen of a big DSLR with a honking big grey lens. Drawn in by the allure big glass --was that a Canon 1DX and a 300 f/2.8? As I approached, I realized that they were talked animatedly in English.

    Accidental Tourist: “Hi, do you mind if I ask what you are you gentlemen are doing?”

    1Dx man: “We are photographing sea gulls.”

    Accidental Tourist: “Really? Any species in particular?”

    1Dx man: “Oh yes, Baltic Gulls! I am here in Stockholm on holiday from England for three days just to see them.”

    Accidental Tourist: “Oh wow! (gesticulating at the seagulls floating on the water) Are they all Baltic?”

    1DX man: “No no no, they are all the much more common Herring Gull except for one on the far right. You see, that one is a second calendar year Baltic Gull and if you look at the feathers”…[lengthy technical discussion edited here for brevity and sanity].

    After a lengthy discussion of the the ins and outs, what have yous, and other intricacies of sea gull identification they asked where I was from.

    Accidental Tourist: “USA. I live in Arizona.”
    1Dx man: “Arizona? That is close to California isn’t it? I was just there this spring for 10 days.”

    Accidental Tourist: “Oh, really? What did you photograph when you were there?” (I couldn’t help but think of all the different things I would love to photograph in California—Yosemite, redwoods, beaches, sunsets, surfers, San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge, oak trees, the Sierra Nevada mountains)

    1Dx man: “Seagulls, of course!”

    I decided it was time to leave singularly focused avian photography man to his pursuit. As we headed toward the subway station, many of Stockholm’s bicycle commuters were homeward bound as well.

    Southern Commute OM 28, f/?, ISO 200, 1/500 sec

    Once back at the campground after a decidedly lackluster pizza…despite being tired, a feeling of restlessness settled over me. I realized I wasn’t quite done with Stockholm yet, I needed to go back. Another subway ride and I was back where I had started the day.

    If you enjoyed the Steig Larsson trilogy, the burrough that the protagonists (Lisbet Salander and Mikael Blomkvist) live in is Södermalm. This is, perhaps, one of its more picturesque views.

    South by Night, OM 50, f/8, ISO 100, 20 sec

    Historically a working class neighborhood, commuting workers rode the public elevator located in the building with the black spires (Mariahissen, bottom right in the picture) to gain access to the steam-driven ferries along the waterfront.

    I enjoyed the clash of the old and the new in this shot of the Norstedt publishing building as traffic was streaming out of the central part of Stockholm.

    Central Exodus OM 28, f/8 or f/10, ISO 100, 10 sec

    The narrow streets of the Old City were much more tranquil than earlier in the day.
    In o Bli Fin OM 28, f/11, ISO 100, 15 sec

    Even intrepid seagull photographers had called it a night.
    With the wind picking up and the rain starting to come down, I let this shot of the Af Chapman “boatell” (the ship is a youth hostel) be the last of the night.

    Af Chapman Sleeps OM 135, f/11, ISO 100, 25 sec

    As I hurried to catch the last subway train for the night, I felt content.

    Accidentally yours,
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Another fine series. :)
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  3. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    Great shots, nice story! We loved the old town when we visited the city... We were there close to end of Oct and it was cold esp at night...
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  4. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    All nice but my fav would be the clock tower shot.
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  5. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks Dave!

    Thanks Serhan! While I have been to Stockholm several times, this was the first time I really appreciated how beautiful the city is. Previously, I was there for a purpose (embassy errands, etc.), and it was always a pain. But this time was really nice to just be a tourist...and I saw the city in a different way. We arrived in Sweden in mid-September and it still felt like summer; by the time we left it was decidedly autumn.

    Appreciate it, Southy! Are you referring to picture #5?
  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Yep. Nicely done
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  7. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    My notes of the same photo says that the clock tower is Storkyrkan, which is the oldest church in Stockholm - founded in the 13th century, then rebuilt in the 15th and 18th centuries:) More on wikipedia:
    Storkyrkan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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  8. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Yep, that's the church all right. The same church is visible in the background of the night-time bicycle shot.

    Speaking of confused me for a while but the building that is in the last shot behind the ship are actually two buildings: amiralitetshuset (The Admiralty House) and the dome of Skeppsholmskyrkan behind it.
    Admiralty House (Stockholm) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Skeppsholmen Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  9. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Another great series! #5 and #10 are my favorites :thumbsup:
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  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Woof! Great photos and storytelling. The one with the bike at the end. Big Woof!
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  11. DailyPeaksCO

    DailyPeaksCO Guest

    :hail: #5 and #10 hold more stories for me. These two for their creative perspectives, use of daytime light, daytime casting shadows. Enjoy what you've captured in #8,#9,#11 of their night shots with reflections and twinkles glistening against their rich grey-blue sky backdrops. Informative and humorous photo bylines throughout. Thanks for sharing the historic structures of your last midnight shots, not to be without, the creamy red streamed tail light shutter-play on what looks to be an expressway. Enjoy the variety of your creativity, its' clear as glass (pardon the pun) how much you enjoy your accidents of tourism. :th_salute:
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  12. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks Nick! It is interesting to me that those two pictures have the most appeal by far out of this set (not just here on talkemount but with others I have shown these pictures to) . It is nice to get this kind of feedback --I get a little (this might sound strange) emotionally invested in pictures that were either challenging to take or I had to work hard at, etc....and I think they end up having more value to me than than they should.

    Thanks Woods! Yeah, that picture...I saw that scene and had to capture it.

    Thanks DailyPeaksCO! It was wonderful to be in 'ze old country. I loved the historical buildings, something we just don't get out here in the west US. Some of those twinkles are reflections from the lens, a bit accidental (ha!) but at least they wound up in the right place. Cheers!