Almost all the pictures on my site stem from travels in Germany or abroad and that is also what I usually write about. We often appreciate foreign environments much more than our homes, yet our surroundings can have so much to offer!
This year, I moved to Sweden to do my Master's Studies in Marine Science in Göteborg. I knew there were probably a lot of nice spots around, but with the transition to living in a new city in a different country, I never really found the time to go out, explore and take photos. In my defense, my studies are actually quite time demanding and the weather of Göteborg can at times be not the most motivating factor to go out. But once I did, I realized that I should have done that much earlier. I don't want to write about motivational issues though but about the beautiful places around. And it starts immediately within the city here.
The title image of this post is a simple panorama that I shot last month from Ramberget, a small mountain just on the other side of the river from city center. Actually, another student texted me because she had seen my pictures, so we met there to observe the local magpies. Magpies are just adorable creatures and very intelligent birds. You can find her pictures of them here, it´s worth a look!
The following weekend I really wanted to get out, so I just packed up my stuff, took my camera, my tent and my sleeping bag and got on the bus to the northern archipelago of Göteborg. I went to Hönö, one of the bigger islands because it is easily accessible by bus and ferry and it seemed like there might be some nice landscapes around. And there are. The Swedish west coast is characterized by bleak granite rocks, with all edges washed off by the elements. These rocks are just beautiful with all these fascinating structures and patterns. I find it quite challenging however, to capture these sceneries with the camera. There are just very few large scale patterns, leading lines or anything that would make for a nice, scenic composition. So at sunset I ended up focusing on a rather intricate study of the texture of the granite in the evening sun and I am quite pleased with the result.
And finally, a true highlight for me was last Sunday. A friend had seen online, that there were white-fronted dippers seen near Jonsered and asked me whether I would like to go there and look for them. The dippers, also called water ouzels, are typical winter guests in northern Germany, where I come from and I am a huge fan! The water ouzel is actually the only songbird species that is able to swim and they are really really good at it. You can only ever find them at the water, preferably at streams running over rocks that they can use to look out on the hunt. And as soon as they spot their prey, they jump into the rushing water, diving for little animals in the water.
Jonsered is just a 15 minute train ride from Göteborg central station and soon after we arrived, we spotted the first dipper just a few hundred meters upstream at the river. And a little further there were a total of three more of them hunting in the swirling water and even singing beautifully when they thought they were alone. I sneaked down to the water and lying close to the shore actually managed to get some shots from quite close and even caught one dipper just coming out of the water from a dive. I got a little soaked from the wet moss but that was absolutely worth it! The only downside is that although the weather was nice, the sunlight didn't reach down through the trees around the river. That would have put the cherry on the cake, but maybe I will have more luck next time.
From there we went along the shore of lake Aspen with a short fika break (the Swedish version of British afternoon tea) and through the forest towards Stora Ramsjön. These forests seem to come right out of a fairy tale with the moss covered trees and all the little streams just asking to be photographed with long exposures!
And it became even more magical, when we arrived at the lake Stora Ramsjön. It was getting close to the evening (which is about 3:30 pm here at this season) and fog hat formed over the water. There was absolute silence, no single sound and absolutely no movement in the water, making it into a perfect mirror. This mood made it an almost surreal experience to stand at the shore of the lake and take the picture of that lonely branch sticking out of the water.
But so far, I have only told you how beautiful my surrounding here in Göteborg is and certainly only a fraction of the people reading this are living here, too. The point I am trying to make though is, that it is really a matter of perspective. Looking back, I know that there are so many beautiful places and landscapes around my home back in Germany and also around Bremen, where I spent three years for my Bachelor's. But I hardly ever really tried to capture that in my photos. Almost none of the pictures in my gallery are from close to home although there would have been so many opportunities. And what area do you know better than your own home? I want to change my perspective about my own surroundings and I hope this might be some motivation. You don´t always need to travel far for great outdoor experiences but they can be just around the corner!