2017 is coming to an (update, has ended) end and it has been another interesting year. Full of great moments but also challenges and hurdles along the way. I definitely look back happy on the past year, remembering some of the best things including finishing my masters and five years at Chalmers, traveling to Hong Kong and back to Japan, exploring some incredible landscapes in the Alps as well as finding our new home.
Photography-wise it has been another great year and always want to continue to grow and develop new skills. Lots of fun assignments and work that I have been fortunate to do, alongside my studies and nowadays work as a UX Service Designer. If you want to follow my photography journey please check in at my website and/or follow me on social media.
Anyway, in this story I would like to share...
...a few of the moments and memories that I will take with me from this year.
Here we go.
We started of the past year with enjoying and exploring some places along the west coast of Sweden. Sure, I would recommend most people coming here to choose summer as the period to visit but winter brings a certain light that really suits the archipelago. Klädesholmen and Skärhamn were more or less empty, leaving all of the great scenery left to be explored pretty much for ourselves.
Walking around the harbour a cold but sunny winter day is pretty great. We made sure to take our time and look at the details of the character that you otherwise might not have the time or patience to enjoy. I ended up with a bunch of good images from this day and planned to put together a shorter story from this day, however time got in the way so I have spread out the images every now and then instead.
Would have been a great little story from this day.
Dinner with a view.
Another example why coming here in winter is a really good idea. Ending the day with a meal at Restaurang Vatten at the Nordic Watercolour Museum. We had the restaurant more or less to ourselves this afternoon, with the best of views outside.
I went back and forth to Stockholm a lot early in the year, mainly for some photography jobs. Always a treat to walk around with a bit of snow and ice to change the scenes a bit.
Even though you most likely have seen this view countless times, I hope you can bear with me and another shot of of Gamla Stan. To my defence, chilly and wintery nights like these means that there are basically no people here at all. A rarity on most others occasions.
This one I shot with my old and trusty X-Pro1, still pick it up every now and then.
A few moments in early spring. Classic Gothenburg - "Halv Special" and the tram. That image with the boy on the tram also happened to be my most liked image in Instagram.
Fujifilm released the X100F camera in early 2017 and my friends over at the Nordic branch was kind enough to lend one to me. It is the fourth iteration of this very popular compact, digital rangefinder camera and I have had this one with me pretty much everywhere I went throughout the rest of the year. Says a lot about what I feel about it. (quite amazing!)
Thanks a bunch to Fujifilm Nordic, Kalle and Ludvig!
In the middle of March we went to Hong Kong as our first stop of a little Hong Kong/Japan tour. This place had been on my "wanting-to-go" list for quite some time and I was so happy to finally set my foot on the busy streets of Hong Kong. I am still today processing all of the experiences and impressions that this city left with me. I had been prepared before going but WOW did it deliver! Such crazy place out of so many reasons, one really has to go here in order to understand the atmosphere of Hong Kong.
Everyday life in Hong Kong
There is no overstatement to say that Hong Kong is out of this world. Especially when talking about architecture and pure urban limits.
There simply are none.
We stood here at Quarry Bay for a long time, walking around and interacting a bit with the people (maybe) living there. It was such a surreal scene wherever you looked, quite extraordinary. Again, I won't use this story to display my "best" shots so for that rather head over to my dedicated Hong Kong story.
Common Ground, SoHo
We enjoyed many things here but the best coffee definitely came at Common Ground.
Heading over on the Star Ferry late in the evening, taking in the pulse and life of the city. Those moments were really something.
Waking up early and heading up the steep and narrow pathways up to Victoria Peak. The view is worth every step over and over again.
The view from The Peak really displays the extreme urban Sim City type of place that Hong Kong really is.
Following Hong Kong, we then went on to Osaka and Japan. A sweet reunion for us, we had longed to come back to Japan ever since our first visit last year and this time we had a little longer time to explore the cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.
(Below) We had the best lunch the first day in Osaka, enjoying some of the most amazing soba dishes and having some fun with our cameras while we ate. It is so rewarding chatting with people you meet for the first time, and the perfect icebreaker seems to be the Fujifilm X100F!
From the first minute we landed in Osaka we had big smiles on our faces - we were just so happy to be back in Japan. Exploring everything that we came across - the food, the culture, chatting (and laughing) with people we met, architecture, history and so on.
DISCLAIMER: I am still working on the images and content from our stay in Osaka/Kyoto. So sorry I have not found the time yet to publish my story yet but I will do my best to have it done as soon as possible. It has been a busy year....... Sorry!
We stayed at a place called Hostel 64 in Osaka, a really good, budget-friendly place that also happened to have their own curated map of what to do/eat/see in Osaka. Honestly I think we can both say that we would not have had even remotely the same great experience of Osaka if it had not been for this map and the recommendations that we then got through it.
So, a great tip from us, the map from Hostel 64. It's a bit like the Marauders Map in Harry Potter.
We thoroughly loved our stay in Osaka and I can't wait to show you my story and gallery once it is ready.
So much love for this place!
Okay, THIS has to be the best Udon nudels I have ever had. Period. Small place, obviously we had to wait quite a while to eat here and it turned out to be a bit of hurry afterwards to the Shinkansen towards Tokyo.
But wow, so worth it!
[Again, wait for my dedicated story that I will release here on Exposure at a later date.]
However, here are a few great moments that I take with me.
When I traveled in Switzerland a few years back I met another fellow traveler, Naoki from Japan, and we had turned out to have a lot of fun. We stayed in touch and when we visited Tokyo and Japan for the first time in 2016 we really tried to sync up but ultimately didn't have the timing that time.
This time around we timed it better! Me and Moa met up with Naoki in Kyoto and he showed us around town, with some great experiences with a visit to a night ceremony in a temple and then a great meal at what felt like the attic of someones house! Truly a day we will always remember!
So happy to meet up again Naoki and thanks for showing us some great gems of Kyoto!
We went between Kyoto and Osaka on a daily basis, quick and easy with the Shinkansen.
The Sakura (Cherry Blossom) was just starting in this region of Japan. This season is so special, both to us as foreigners but even more so to the Japanese people.
Visiting Kyoto for the first time was an incredible experience.
Through the long, long rows of shrines.
Very special place indeed and something that we had visualized a lot before coming here. Loads of tourists though, I guess we fell into that category as well..
This image right below here gets to represent our experience and time in Kyoto and Osaka. Pretty awesome!
Made a friend
We met this little guy just outside a shrine in Tokyo and we waited with him until his parents came around and found him.
There were a lot of people moving, not easy for a kid to navigate through!
Even though it is a bit touristy, seeing all of these colorful Kimonos sweeping through is quite a cool experience.
When it rains, it pours. In a good way.
We had some serious downfall one of our days in Osaka. Not bad at all it turns out, getting to see all of the great umbrellas (mostly the transparent ones) everywhere.
We also made a quick visit to Kobe one evening.
Can you get enough of it? I think not! Ramen, Udon, Takoyaki, Teppanyaki, Sushi, Soba...
Coming back to Tokyo and finding it suited up in the finest of Sakura blossoms. What a dream come true.
Have a look at my story from Tokyo and my gallery.
(Actually managed to go through these images and publish something, so something I at least got done this fall!)
The best there is.
During my last day in Tokyo I met up with Isabel & Gustaf from back home and we had just a great day a in Tokyo. Visiting The National Art Center, eating ramen and teppanyaki and much much more.
We spent a good hour and a half in this 7-story toy store in Ginza playing all kinds of games and trying silly toys. The imagination and creativity of the toys in this story clearly represents the extreme playfulness found everywhere in Japan.
We were like kids again!
Biking around in Asakusa, Tokyo.
Dreaming yet living to the max.
One last beer in this crazy city.
Celebrating with quite the view from a skyscraper in Shiodome area. A fitting end to this great trip going from Hong Kong, on to Osaka and Kyoto and finally this week in Tokyo. 2,5 weeks of pure experiences and travel always brings fresh perspectives and inspiration.
Japan, see you in 2018?!
And to the surprisingly warm and welcoming weather. Spring was unusually good and offered lots of early visits to the ocean, with the occasion swim between runs.
Always a great feeling seeing the sun staying up longer and longer, providing warmth long in the evenings.
Home is hard to beat when it looks like this.
Still trying to comprehend this, feels surreal sometimes. Five amazing years at Chalmers University of Technology coming to an end, and what an ending it was! We presented our master thesis on the 13th of June with summer shining outside and my birthday on the next day. Pure smiles and laughter this day after having a great presentation, what a special day this was. Thanks a million Jacob (my partner in the thesis) for everything. Kind of funny that me and Jacob ended up doing the thesis together, we synced up on the first day of Uni back in 2012 and never looked back.
We are now MSc. within Industrial Design Engineering.
Memories and friends for a lifetime!
Got tons of images and videos from this amazing time but those are not meant to be included in this kind of story ;)
What better way to celebrate graduation and our degrees than enjoying the best days of summer? Here taking it easy at our friends up in Kungshamn.
Days of Summer
Back to the roots
We used to play golf every day when we were younger, so good meeting up with my childhood friend Johan again and going for a late night run at the golf club. Talking design, work, future plans, memories - great times!
A trip to the Bavarian alps, Triglav National Park, Dolomites, South Tyrol and much more.
Pretty good itinerary for a week if you ask me.
These are only a few good shots and memories from this adventure, full story yet to be unveiled. Stay tuned.
Going for a swim in Obersee, Berchtesgaden.
From Berchtesgaden we then traveled further on to Kranjska Gora in Triglav National Park, Slovenia for a few days of adventure. Hot days of incredible landscapes, lots of swims in cool alpine lakes.
The traveling duo!
Again with the unexpected selfie.
Also, Slovenia is beautiful, wow.
A "selfie-free" version of this ridiculous landscape.
Triglav National Park.
Going up through the winding roads, rewarding views like this awaiting.
Views that needs to be captured and remembered.
Going for a few jumps in this turquoise water and dramatic gorge. A perfect stop when the temperature circles around 35°C and you are headed towards the Italian border and the Dolomites.
Welcome to the South Tyrol and Dolomites.
We stayed at a great place just 15 minutes away from Lago di Braies (aka. Pragser Wildsee) so we could stop here a couple of times. Much less people in the evening with a light drizzle in the air. Most other times this place is crazy popular and chances are that you will have seen this place tons of times on social media etc. but it still felt great to see it in person.
Otherwise there are so many great other spots in the region that is equally stunning so make sure not to only come here! ;)
Will cover much more on this in my dedicated story from this trip.
Our amazing house for a few nights, great memories from this place.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Feat. a couple of horses in the foreground.
We stopped at Lago di Misurina and decided to hop on a couple of electric Mountainbikes, giving us a lift up the steep mountainsides.
The Porsche was just a treat for the eyes.
Stunning hikes up the mountainside of Monte Cristallo
Currently my desktop image.
An Aperol Spritz in Cortina...
...after a long day of hiking and tired legs. Magic.
We made a quick stop in Innsbruck on our way up north back for one night and decided to go to the classic Café Sacher.
A quick little sightseeing around town and a look at the Zaha Hadid designed Hungerburgbahn stations.
We stopped at few great locations once back in Bavaria and Germany, here with Eibsee and a barely visible Zugspitze in the background (pretty much covered on clouds at the time of this photo).
More on this in the upcoming story.
Me smilig happily after a nice swim in Walchensee.
A super brief stop in Munich before heading back to Sweden. Visitin a few design- and architecture museums, liking the few things we got to see here. Hopefully we'll return many more times in the future, Munich is such a great starting point for these kinds of trips.
Oh this could be a very loooooong part in this story. During the last couple of years I/we have been looking for a new apartment for a long time. It has been a time- and energy consuming process in many ways. It is honestly hard for me to find the right words to explain how much has gone into this, but I will not bore you with the details here. Basically when we got back from our trip the alps everything happened very quickly and we ended up with something unbelievable.
Finally, we found our new place and it is so much more than we could ever have hoped for.
FYI - not our furniture ;)
It will take us some time to find our style here, but we are getting there. Slowly but steady.
Moving also meant the opportunity to embrace a couple of new habits, like going for a run and then jumping in the lake, among many other things ;)
I actually used to be here a lot when I was younger, so in a way it feels full circle having so close to nature and being able to run in the forest rather than concrete and asphalt every time. And it is honestly first now that I have started to appreciate and see the value with having this incredible nature so nearby.
And the best thing is that I only have a 10-minute bike ride to work in the city centre. The best of both worlds we feel!
We already look forward to spring and summer, being able to take full advantage of our surroundings.
Then fall came and that meant a lot of colors, chanterelles, excursions and just great times. Did I mention I really like this time of the year? At times even more than Summer.
I used to have a drone about two years back but that story sort of didn't end too well for me, and for long I debated with myself if I would ever get one again. However, when the right opportunity came around in early November I took the plunge and went back in the drone game. So happy that I did, so much great stuff has already come from this white little flying toy-thingy. Expect to see a lot more content from the "Above-perspective" in the future, have not really figured out yet how to best present my videos and images from the drone.
And wow is it FUN!? =)
It brings a completely new perspective and provides great inspiration
The shorter and "smaller" adventures can be equally as rewarding sometimes. Here we went south to Båstad and Torekov for the weekend.
Stranger Things anyone?
Managed to capture some moments when winter arrived, from some new angles that I had never been able to photograph before.
Everything looks way "cooler" with snow right?
See what I did there? ;)
Thanks to everyone making 2017 an unforgettable year.
Back in the archipelago, where we started the year.