Hagaparken at Night

Hagaparken at Night

Juha Haataja wonders if he is "taking photographs the wrong way. Instead of walking around, perhaps [he] should spend hours in one spot, exploring the possibilities."[a] A valid question, but I think that logic dictates that you have to move about a lot before you decide on what place to focus on. If all you do is step out of the car you're not going to get any good photos.

I've found that the quality of photos is more or less proportional to how much I move around. Sitting still results in boring photos, while going all over the place means interesting photos. Quite obvious, if you think about it. The only way to substantially change the appearance of a photo is to move the camera or point it somewhere else, so the more points you sample, the higher the likelyhood of finding the spot-on spot. Which brings me to today's attempt...

I've always prefered to move around by walking. Not only am I more all-terrain than any other mode of transportation, I don't have to worry about keeping track of a vehicle of any kind. The downside is that I am relatively slow and have a comparably short range on my feet: Anything above one or two kilometers turns the whole thing into something where I actually have to plan where I go in order to be able to be at the right spot at the right time, which makes the kind of roaming approach I take quite impractical.

Today I tried using a bike.[1] It went better than expected in many ways, but as you may notice from the photos, they're all taken near trails or roads. Some mobility was sacrificed for the convenience of being able to get to Haga Park in reasonable time, and being able to cover as much distance as possible. The camera I used, a Panasonic DMC-TZ7/ZS3, went into a dust- and waterproof compact camera case strapped under the seat of the bike, which was the only place where I could suspend it in a way where shocks to the bike frame didn't cause the camera bag to slam into the steel of the frame. Since it was getting dark I brought with me a flexible mini-tripod[b] for long exposure night shots. The GPS I use, a Garmin ForeTrex 201[c], went in a handlebar mount[d]; not that I need it to navigate, but I think having the little maps by each photo here on the blog is cool.

Overall it worked out well. At the start I would stash the camera all the time, going from one spot to another, but eventually I just grabbed the bike and walked it around unless I was going more than a hundred meters. Not the most efficient use of it and a bit of a pain. The big downside was that having a bike meant I was restricted to bikable roads and trails, of which there aren't all that many due to the geology of Stockholm: Lots of rocky cliffs everywhere. A lot of opportunites were instantly lost - if you can't get to the great photo spot using your chosen mode of transportation, you can't find it. So the end verdict has to be that bikes are good for transportation, but only when you're going a distance measured in kilometers and are only interested in the view from the road or point immediately in the vicinity of it.

View of the southern end of Brunnsviken, looking north.

2010-08-12 22:00


The gravel road toward Haga Palace and the Copper Tents.

2010-08-12 22:26


The trails near Gemstone and China House.

2010-08-12 22:43


Cafe tables near Gemstone and China House.

2010-08-12 22:58


The Copper Tents[e], built in 1787 to house guards and stables. Today they house the park museum, a cafe and a restaurant.

2010-08-12 23:11


Bridge over the E4 highway near the northern park entrance.

2010-08-12 23:25




I like biking, I like photography - nothing can go wrong.