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Swedish Sunrise: The Stockholm Archipelago

Panoramic view of boats moored amid the islands of the Stockholm Archipelago at dawn on a foggy morning seen from the Baltic Sea with stone pier pair of mute swans cygnus olor and cygnets at right

A few summers ago I took an incredible trip to Scandinavia, Estonia and Russia with my friend Ellen, a fellow stock photographer. We spent a couple of days in Sweden and I can’t wait to go back. The city of Stockholm itself was wonderful – there was so much to see and do – but there’s a part of the country I only caught a glimpse of – the Stockholm Archipelago – which I am even more eager to explore. Check out these photos and you’ll understand why.

Ryssmasterna Fyr (Lighthouse) and dramatic sunrise on one of the the two islands of the same name in the Stockholm Archipelago along the Swedish coast seen from the Baltic Sea, Sweden.

Ryssmasterna Fyr (Lighthouse) and dramatic sunrise on one of the the two islands of the same name in the Stockholm Archipelago along the Swedish coast seen from the Baltic Sea, Sweden.

Ryssmasterna Fyr ( Lighthouse ) on one of the the two islands of the same name in the Stockholm Archipelago along the Swedish coast seen from the Baltic Sea at sunrise.

Ryssmasterna Fyr ( Lighthouse ) on one of the the two islands of the same name in the Stockholm Archipelago along the Swedish coast seen from the Baltic Sea at sunrise.

The Stockholm Archipelago is a collection of about 20,000 islands and islets along the Swedish coast. Most are heavily wooded and beautiful, reminiscent of the coast of Maine. Summer cabins and boat docks are plentiful – as are one of my favorite stock photo subjects – lighthouses.

My first glimpse of the islands was on a rainy afternoon as we left Stockholm to cruise to Tallin, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia. I couldn’t help thinking how lovely the islands would be on a sunny day, so I rose well before dawn on the return trip to get a glimpse. I’m a night owl, but sometimes you have to sacrifice to get the capture the best light. It was worth every minute of missed sleep!

The coast of Sweden seen from the Baltic Sea at sunrise amid the islands of the Stockholm Archipelago.

The Swedish coast with islands of the Stockholm archipelago.

When I first came up on deck everything was bathed in an eerie white light. I thought I’d missed the sunrise but the white night was followed by an incredible sight. By August the sun actually sets for a short while every night and rises again to spectacular effect. Suddenly, the sky went from a nondescript white to a striking orange with hints of gold. The black silhouettes of the islands began to take shape and summer homes slowly became visible through the fog.

 

A heavily wooded island, one of the roughly 20,000 islands in the Stockholm Archipelago on the coast of Sweden seen from the Baltic Sea, Sweden.

 

From the high deck of the cruise ship the many lighthouses looked so small until I saw one perched near a two-story house and had a better sense of their true scale.

As daylight broke the orange-hued water turned to deep blue as the sky took on a pinkish tone and the dark shapes of trees became lush green forests. It’s no wonder these islands are such a popular summer vacation destination. Many homes are for rent by the week and include access to kayaks, rowboats and sailboats, and there are motels on many of the islands as well.

I thought perhaps one of these was the island that Bloomquist escaped to in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo although when I re-read one of the books I realized he actually went to another island far from Stockholm. Still, it helped to bring the book to life.

I took more than 1000 photographs during my brief trip to Sweden and hope to share more here soon. Some of these sunset photos are available as home decor canvas prints. Please check back here to see more soon. All photos © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo, all rights reserved. Feel free to share this blog with your friends and to pin the photos – but if you want prints to hang on your wall, check out my the website on Fine Art America. You can even use code UKULZE for $10 off your purchase of $20 or more now through December 31, 2013.

These photos are also available for licensing as stock directly through my stock and assignment website at  www.campyphotos.com

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