Weekend in Copenhagen
Going to Denmark's capital wasn’t always a bucket list location to visit and a few years ago I probably couldn’t even tell what the capital of Denmark was. As I started to getting in to taken photos, reading photography magazines and following photographers from around the world, I couldn’t help noticing images coming out of this city. The art, architecture, the people and all those bikes! I started to dream of going to Copenhagen.
But it was still just a pipeline dream of going until the end of 2018 and a few factors allowed me to be able to go, I had holiday to use up at work, I received travel vouchers from my bank and my wife gave in and allowed me to go.
Touching down in Copenhagen airport was the moment any fears or worries of next 5 days ahead of me completely disappeared and were replaced by excitement and anticipation. The weather forecast for next few days was perfect.
Searching Copenhagen in a search bar and first images you’ll see is of Nyhavn, a canal lined with brightly coloured houses. This was to be my first stop. Being able to get a unique image from the canal would be near impossible, it’s been photographed so many times and the beginning of March was not the best time of year all the snow had melted and the trees were still bare. The only salvation was that there wasn’t as many people as there would be in the height of summer or winter.
10-minute walk from Nyhavn stands Amalienborg and Frederik's Church. I had seen this place in Google maps before going and I had a couple of photo ideas, but sadly the exact spot I wanted to set up my tripod was under renovation and was blocked off. I didn’t realise it at first but this was a little blessing as it forced me to find different compositions I would have not normally looked for.
I knew I wanted Frederik's Church in the background of the image but finding a foreground element was proving to be difficult with all the construction work taking place around the immediate vicinity. I took a moment to watch the cyclist’s rushing past me and quickly realised using a cyclist as a foreground element would be fitting for where I was. Getting the shot was a little tricky as to centre the church and biker I had to kneel down in the middle of a busy junction and had to wait there until a suitable subject come past.
Nikon D7200 + Nikon 18 - 105mm f/3.5-5.6
| ISO 125 | 22mm | f/3.8 | 1/320 sec |
The next morning, I made my way to Grundvigs Church which is very popular with photographers due to its scale and striking gothic style interior and façade. I arrived as soon as it opened and I had the whole place to myself, photographing a place like this I knew it would be important to be able to show scale and a method to achieve this is to place a familiar object in the frame. No better way is by putting a person or yourself in to the frame.
Nikon D7200 + Tokina DX II 11-16mm F2.8
| ISO 100 | 13mm | f/11 | 2.5 sec |
From Grundvigs Church I travelled to the Round Tower. The 17th century tower is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. What makes it really stand out is its incredible spiral ramp. It coils around 7.5 times from bottom to top of the tower. I’ve seen many photos from the tower and I wanted to photograph it myself. I wanted to be able to show the scale of the space inside something I’ve never seen from other photographers. Taking an 8-image panorama shot a made sure to include a couple walking past one of my frames while they were descending.
On the third day I was up and out of the door at 4 o’clock because I was traveling to Frederiksborg Castle situated an hour’s drive north of the city. This very impressive 17th century renaissance castle sits on an island within a lake.
It was still pitch black when I arrived at the lake, but the outline of the castle could be seen on the other side of the lake. Set-up my tripod and camera and within 10 minutes of standing there it went from clear skies to very heavy fog. You couldn’t see more than 20-30 meters away, I was gutted! After an hour of waiting I accepted defeat and packed my camera and headed into parkland next to the castle. After walking for 20 minutes I couldn’t believe my luck when I came to a small lake with a small sorry looking house in the middle. It was a simple image to capture but without the fog this shot wouldn’t have worked.
Walking back to the castle in the fog, I came past a scene where the castle was half visible and the other half was lost in the fog, I almost decided against taking a photo as I didn’t think it was a potential keeper. But on a whim I tried a shot and then carried on. It wasn’t until I got it back to the computer and looked at it again when I truly fell in love with the result. The reflection in the water, peaceful and mysterious at the same time, and I didn’t even notice the man walking across the bridge at the time of photographing but it’s a great source of scale in the scene and for me makes the image.
Thankfully the fog and clouds lifted in time for sunset and I was presented with these fantastic conditions.
I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to take a trip like this and even more that I had fantastic conditions in which to photograph, even if I didn’t realise it at the time. I probably won’t have the chance to take a trip like this again but that’s not stopping me from researching into other destinations and dreaming.
Here are the rest of the photos taken on the trip below for you to browse through.