Swedish Photographic Prints

Images of Sweden

Sverige Bilder

From its capital Stockholm to the wonderful areas of Norland and Jamtland (Jämtland) to the fascinating island of Gotland with its the exquisite town of Visby, Sweden is some much more the clichéd pop groups and Volvo cars. Its people and culture will envelope any visitor and is a photographers paradise.

The very beautiful Nordic country of Sweden lies to the north of continental Europe on the Scandinavian Peninsular (with Norway and Finland being the other two countries occupying the peninsular. Sweden, a constitutional monarchy, is the 3rd largest country of the EU and with only 9+ million people means it has one of the lowest population densities with about 85% of its population living in urban areas.


Seasons

Swedish Seasons Photographic Prints

Photography of Sweden

With long winters to endure, it is no surprise that summers is a time for celebration for Swedes and other Scandinavians. While summers are especially pretty, it is the northern winter and shoulder months that this antipodean found most remarkable; after all, our summers are specular and our winters are very mild be comparison.

To experience a Scandinavian winter is truly remarkable as one gets to experience real seasons and measurable seasonal change that turns on a daily basis once the change starts.

More remarkable are how elements of daily life blend into these changes, and appear perfectly set within their surroundings, no matter the season.

 

Gotland

Gotland Photographic Prints

Photography of Sweden

Gotland Bilder

Gotland is an amazing Swedish island situated in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Latvia with a population of around 60,000.

The county Gotlands län is made up of the main island and several smaller ones including Fårön, Gotska Sandön, and Karlsö.

Fårö (Faro), a small island off the northern tip of Gotland, is a must see destination for anyone travelling to Sweden. Only 5 minutes by ferry, the island’s landscape and scenery is uniquely different to the rest of Gotland and is famous for not only the limestone sea-stacks (Raukar) along parts fo the coast but also was the home of Ingmar Bergman; world famous Swedish movie director, writer and producer of film, stage and television.

Fårö is also famous for the Raukar (limestone sea-stacks) that line the north coast and provide an surreal site; their surrealism is complimented by the man-made cairns that visitors create from the unique stone that lines the coast. Gotland is easily reached by plane or car ferry that departs from mainland Sweden (Nynäshamn or Oskarshamn).

The famous Raukar formed over many millennia as a result of softer sandstone being eroded by the wind, rain and sea while the more resilient limestone remained intact; forming the sea-stacks that are up to 12 metres tall and provide a unique, stack and beautiful landscape, especially at sunset.

Over the years, people have started forming smaller stone cairns that provide a wonderful contrast to the larger limestone formations. One very famous Raukar is the Hoburg Raukar which, if viewed from a certain angle looks like the head or face of an old man.

Buildings & Structures

Swedish Buildings Photographic Prints

Photography of Sweden

Sweden is a country of remarkable beauty; natural and man-made.

Across the country, cities and towns of the various regions of Sweden are remarkable examples of unique modern and tradition designs and design elements that lend themselves well to the camera either as close-up images or photographs of entire buildings and how they sit the the text of surrounding natural elements.

* NOTE... a few of these images where taken futher north in Norway, on a photographic roadtrip to NordKapp.

Nature

Swedish Nature Photographic Prints

Photography of Sweden

Sweden is synonymous with nature both in its beauty and the way the Swede appreciate it. It is a country passionately in tune with the environment in which it lives.

With its northern latitudes, the country experiences some extremes in climate especially in the colder months with much of the country experience sub-zero temperatures and short daylight hours.

Up north this is especially true for the region above the arctic circle which experiences periods when the sun does not rise in winter, or sets in summer.

These extremes enable some truly remarkable elements of nature.

To Nordkapp

Lapland Roads Photographic Prints

Images of Scandinavia

So, how far north in mainland Europe can you drive?

Nordkapp in the Norwegian Finmark region which, at 71°10′21″N, is promoted to be the most northern point you can reach on the European Mainland, but actually the most northern point is Knivskjellodden which stretches a further 1.4km north, but to reach that it is a long hike on foot.

Like most iconic destinations, it is as much about the journey and driving to Nordkapp is certainly one of the most majestic drives in Europe.

This journey started at Jokkmokk, and headed to Abisko National Park, west of Kiruna, before heading west to Riksgränsen (Sweden) and descending the mountain range towards Narvik in Norway before heading north past the Fjordland to Alta.

The remote and beautiful landscape of the region unfolds on the drive along the Stokkedalsveien between to Skiadi then across to Russenes on the shores of the Porsangerfjorden.

The trip north along the Porsangerfjorden is along a specular coastal road to the north of the peninsular and then it is underwater crossing to the island of Mahkaravju via the 6.9km Nordkapptunnelen (North Cape Tunnel).

Once on the island, it is a short drive to the main town of Honningsvåg and a further 30+kms to Nordkapp.

Stockholm & Skansen

Stockholm - Skansen Photographic Prints

Photography of Sweden

The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is an architecturally and culturally beautiful place set at the point where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea and its central district is set on 14 islands. Stockholm also includes the archipelago (Skärgård) that spreads out 60+ km into the Baltic Sea. A most unique and beautiful city that should be high on anyone’s list of travel destinations.

Around 30% of Stockholm is greenways and parklands and these provide a natural beauty that belies its size. There is plenty to offer like Gamla Stan (The Old City), Södermalm, Skansen, and wonderful villages like Vaxholm.

A walk around Stockholm soon reveals the secret to its layout in that it is made of a series of islands which in turn is part of the large archipelago (skärgård) which are numbered at 24,000.

Around the city, some highlights include the rustic and beautiful Gamla Stan (Old town), the Royal Palace, eclectic Södermalm, and Djurgården which is a highlight of any trip to Stockholm. On the island of Djurgården is Skansen, the wonderful outdoor museum.

Most cities and countries have them but very few deliver as well as Skansen; in fact the word commonly used as a European noun that means outdoor museum. Its creator, Artur Hazelius, was observant enough to see that the industrial revolution of the 1800’s was to the detriment of rural life and as such there was a need for cultural preservation of the traditions of Sweden and hence the concept of Skansen was born.

There are many clichés about Sweden (meatballs, herring, Vikings and Volvos and ABBA) and when one visits Sverige some clichés are so welcoming; the smell of pine forests, picking berries and even Knäckebröd (crisp bread) will others Surströmming (fermented fish) are not so initially enticing to the non-swedish.

Timbers & Textures

Swedish Timbers Photographic Prints

Photography of Sweden

For a photographer, the textures of natural materials are wonderful to capture in times of light, contrasts, and hues. Include those elements with their surroundings and they become even more poignant.

Timber is a much-used building material in Sweden and has been for centuries and add some color (the iconic red, and to a lesser extent the yellow) and these structures take on another dimension, which over time become richer and deeper in terms of photographic subjects.

Add the changing of the seasons, and another dimension becomes evident.