Midsummer’s eve

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Cheers! Midsummer is a huge deal in Sweden, second only to Christmas (and for some, not even that). I spent mine at our cabin in the woods, basking in the somewhat unexpected sun and fending off the odd mosquito.

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The wild roses haven’t quite got there yet, but they’re coming. The cranesbill was out en masse, though.

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No trip to the cabin is complete without a good campfire and a fishing expedition. Preparations are underway.

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We got a pike!

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I’m such a sucker for forest paths. This one leads from our cabin to untold adventures.

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Since it’s midsummer, the sun only sets for a couple of hours. This pic was taken at around eleven in the evening.

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Later still, the sun dipped below the horizon.

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At midnight, a mist swept in and shrouded the landscape in gauze.

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At half past midnight, I took a final picture (below) and headed back to the cabin for some shuteye. The barest hint of pink in the sky tells me it’s summer and all is well with the world… 🙂

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Dandelions!

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On the bus home yesterday, when I was counting backwards from 1000 to zero to stop thinking about my aching back, we passed this field of dandelions. I was momentarily distracted from my pain, and decided to come back and photograph them today.

So this morning I took my iPod with me – filled with sound files from my study participants – and listened to them while I took a stroll along the country roads and captured oodles of bright yellow gold.

And I learned something – or rather, something was confirmed that I’d already read in photography books and blogs: that direct noon sunlight can just blast the colours to oblivion. Many pictures ended up blown out, and that lovely yellow just looked white.

Okay. Lesson learned.

But I also love photographing backlit things, and the weather was fine for that.

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A typical Swedish field of flowers: mostly yellow, with the odd white and purple.

A summer road

There’s nothing special about this picture, and that’s precisely the point. You won’t find anything more typically Swedish than this: a small road, winding through the green fields and the forests, with the occasional red timbered cottage and a few scattered yellow flowers. Peaceful to the point of boring. Right up my alley.

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And yeah, seeing as it’s now June, I guess I’ll have to start tagging these pictures “summer” instead of “spring”… 🙂

One step at a time

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I’m having a hard time finding the motivation for the PhD right now. All I want to do is photograph stuff, but I can only lie in bed because of my lumbago. Travelling for four hours to work and back today was not what the doctor ordered.

But hey, instead I got to snazz up my blog (I can do that lying down!). At least I hope it’s an improvement… 🙂 I wanted the new layout and the colours to reflect the feeling of calm that nature gives me. The camera really is a good friend in that it forces me outside my door to chase that elusive evening light.

Some days I stay outside for three hours, which is unheard of for me, but very good for my mental health. I tend to spend most of my time in my head, and I like it there, there are snacks, but too much of a good thing, you know? And looking for subjects to photograph makes me see the world as I want to see it – as a place of wonder and beauty, not always a problem to be solved.

So. Baby steps towards a better place.