Traveling is like flirting with life.
It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you,
but I have to go… this is my station.’
Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
I’m back from another European jaunt where I met a city I’d move to in a heartbeat–or at least when it’s summer! ;)
Stockholm is vibrant, cosmopolitan, surrounded by a crisscross of waterways, verdant parks, buildings both old and new, and a crowd of charming elegance. I found that I quite enjoy being around people and public transportation that show up exactly when they say they will. The taxi fare situation is another matter…
While I make an effort to bring a camera, I find myself reaching for the stealth of the iPhone for street and travel photography. Add the ease of instagram for filters and web sharing et voila! How much more fun can you have? Plenty more when you’re traveling with family and friends as tag-along models.
Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your favorite travel and fun photography tips.
In the photo above: Add a foreground element to make a unique cityscape. While I tried to position the sculpture of the man with an eagle “cape,” these lovers showed up adding an even more dynamic layer.
When telling a story with pictures, set the stage with a wide opening shot (caught a pun there!) This is the ferry I took from Helsinki to get a break from running to/from airports. I framed the ship and waited for the next cargo truck to hit some sunlight. The bright yellow panel is an excellent focal point and the red gates act as a leading line to direct the viewer’s eye. On Instagram, I usually pop contrast (the icon that looks like the sun above the filter choices) before deciding if the photograph looks better with one of the filters. Many times, popping contrast is all you need. In this case, the ship’s hull was not that shiny–the reflection you see on it is of the skyline behind me on the glass walkway where I was standing. But, hey, would you have guessed that?
As a committed night owl, I have to bribe myself to catch a sunrise. While the ship sailed through the Swedish archipelago, everyone photographed the same view from the railing. I stepped back to include my fellow early birds for a unique sunrise photograph no one else has. Including people in your pictures helps give a reference for scale and literally adds life. I framed for the green lamp post and waited for the man in the matching jacket to walk (movement is always interesting) a certain distance from it to balance the composition. Notice the diagonal from the lamp to the man on the far left that eventually leads your eye to the horizon. And how lucky the folks in the background knew to stand with spaces between them so they’re not one dark blob?
The tiny island of Skeppsholmen may not figure much on most travel guides. But if you want to get the best views of the city, this is where you want to be! Walk past the Grand Hotel and the National Museum over a short bridge with a crown in the middle (see second to last photo below). You’ll find the Asian and Modern Art Museums there. I brought glorious weather with me, so I preferred tracing the perimeter of the island. Local friends give you the best insider tips–Thank you, Lars and Wiveca!
The light over the cityscape looked perfect during my stroll. Whenever you find great light, remember to turn around and see what could be interesting behind you. I found this car that drove straight off a comic book! The shadows of the bikes/chains intersect with and lead attention towards it. On Instagram, I popped contrast and chose a filter that pleased me. One of the pleasures of creation is: Choose what makes you happy.
A good rule for portraits? Run to where there’s laughter! Here, a tourist takes a turn with the high tech equipment of a bubble artist in Gamla Stan. I love how the onlookers as well as the statue behind them are all rapt with attention on the girl. Are they mesmerized by the action or her thigh highs?
Gamla Stan is the old city of Stockholm where only pedestrians are allowed. It has two of my favorite restaurants: (1.) Mr. French Brasserie for fabulous waterside views, excellent service, and their finger licking red shrimp appetizer. (2.) Le Rouge is very sexy red velvet for dining with someone you can cozy with.
The diagonal of the vine covered wall against the rhythm of the windows of the yellow building caught my eye first. This couple taking their “selfie” and the sun flare were wonderful bonuses. I also loved how the statue above them appears to be taking her own selfie or checking her cellphone. Give your viewer a layer of elements to discover.
I adore men in suits with red socks! There’s a sign of someone with a sense of humor if not brave fashion style. This man walked too fast for my iPhone to catch a good shot of his socks, but his simple dark form is a perfect anchor for the diagonals of the cars and the stripe of the bike lane that lead the viewer’s eye to the background. I love how the passing cars replicate the rhythm of the windows on the buildings’ facade. The black and white filter creates a classic look.
God(dess) is in the details. This red chair is a signature Scandic design so it’s good to include in the narrative. What I was really photographing was the pair of red socks that sat still for a proper photo this time.
Keep an eye out for shadows and patterns, use diagonals or curves with foreground and background elements. The title of this piece is “I Leave My Crown in Stockholm”…
…As well as my heart! Use reflective surfaces like (shop) windows that also serve as a framing device for your next selfie.
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Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother