Most people know that Stockholm is Sweden’s capital, but at a guess, it’s fair to assume that probably fewer people know that it’s an incredible city for budding photographers and not just above ground. In fact, some of the most dramatic and artistic landscapes to capture with a lens in Stockholm happen to form part of the city’s unique underground transport system. Dubbed the world’s longest art exhibit – at 110 kilometers long – Stockholm’s subway stations are, in short, magnificent.
Be prepared for going underground
When planning a photography trip to discover and capture Stockholm’s underground stations, it’s a good idea to prepare all the equipment and technology you’ll need beforehand.
The first thing to do would be to invest in cloud storage designed for photographers. Never put all your hopes into a camera card or a laptop. Just because you save your photos onto your laptop, to clear your memory card and continue shooting, doesn’t mean your laptop won’t suddenly break down and make it impossible to get to the incredible photos you took. Play it safe, invest in the cloud and trust in a storage system that will never fail you.
Also, remember that you’re going to be taking photographs in dark environments, with artificial lighting all around you. Shiny metallic surfaces on floors and escalators could also provide extra challenges.
Make friends with the shutter speed function on your camera for a start, as anything higher than 1/200 could be affected by artificial lighting interference and invest in a reflector to better direct the light. A tripod may also become essential in this instance. If you choose to work with a particularly low shutter speed, you’ll find that the slightest movement your camera experiences could ruin your shot.
Solna Centrum Subway Station
If you love the color red, you’ll fall in love with Solna Centrum Station. Part of the subway’s blue line system, this underground station is both part of the transport system and a shopping mall, located just five kilometers away from the center of the city. Its deep red, rugged ceilings provide a dramatic contrast to the cold metal shine of the escalators that your camera will fall in love with.
Rådhuset Subway Station
First opened on 31st August 1975, Rådhuset (Court House) Station is also one of the stops on the blue line. Just like many of the underground stations in Stockholm, Rådhuset is famous for its focus on organic architecture. A warm, orangey-yellow bedrock is exposed, looming above the busy commuters who travel below. Unsculptured and wild in appearance, you’ll feel like you’re photographing a natural cave system in the middle of the metropolis.
Kungsträdgården Subway Station
Kungsträdgården Station is one of the stops on the green line of the Stockholm T-Bana. It’s an archaeologist’s paradise. Passengers descend approximately 34 meters underground before arriving to the station’s platform area and when they do, they come into contact with a number of relics that were rescued from city buildings during Stockholm’s major redevelopment in the 1950s and 1960s.
Stadion Subway Station
And if you love rainbows, then your camera is going to go wild for the arched rainbow scene leading to the platform at Stadion Station. The potential artistry you can achieve by framing a shot around this underground rainbow is all that’s needed to warrant a trip to Sweden.
So, with 90 subway stations to choose from, and designs belonging to more than 150 artists, is there anywhere more exciting to photograph in Stockholm than the underground?
Photographs by Karen Pérez Guzmán www.1-way-ticket.com