This photo trip took me to a country that is known for fjords, trolls, and 20 hours of sunlight in the summer. Need another hint? It is a country that has been described by many as the most beautiful country in the world! While that may be a tall order for many places to fulfill, it is not far from the truth.
Welcome to Norway! Home to the cosmopolitan capital of Oslo.
Behind the scenes video of the Scandinavia photo shoot:
This Memorial Day break, I headed to Scandinavia for five days to see Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The month of May happens to be the perfect time to visit Norway as the weather is particularly sunny with long days and even longer sunsets.
During my Scandinavia trip, I stayed in Oslo as a base for my travels, not only because it is a hub for the affordable Norwegian airlines, but it is home to the chic, modern, seaside capital of Norway - Oslo! I quickly found out that Norway is a photographer's dream with a delightful city center in Oslo.
1. Karl Johans Gate
If you arrive via plane, the Oslo airport has easy bullet train access to the city center. It runs about every 10 minutes or so and is about a 20 minute ride to Central Station which is situated in the center of the action on Karl Johans Gate street, a pedestrian boulevard lined with beautiful building facades, cobblestone streets, and flowers.
The boulevard is particularly spirited on Norway's Constitution Day on May 17th, with flags lined down the street. Saturdays are also bustling as it is a main hub for shopping, bars, and nightlife. However, on Sundays mornings, the streets are completely empty as many shops are closed, making it a perfect time to photograph the historic buildings.
2. Oslo Havn & Oslofjord
If you arrive to Oslo via boat or cruise ship, then you will dock in the Oslo Harbor (Oslo Havn) and the scenery brings us to the second photo shoot location! Oslo is situated on a fjord called Oslofjord. The fjord feels like a world away from the city, as it is a narrow straight with islands and forests alongside the banks of the water. The harbor area is a vibrant part of town filled with a boardwalk, shops, luxury glass apartments, alfresco dining areas, and vintage boats.
3. Royal Palace
The Royal Palace can been seen at the end of the Karl Johans Gate, and leading up to the palace is a row of blooming lilac trees. This is where the Norwegian monarchy is situated. Every day at 1:30 pm, visitors can watch the pageantry of the changing of the guards on the palace grounds.
4. National Gallery
The National Gallery is one of Oslo's well known museums because it hosts the famous Norwegian painter Edvard Munch's "The Scream" painting. It is a fun place to take photos of the iconic painting as well as learn more about Norwegian art. The gallery has docents who provide tours of the galleries.
5. Opera House
The Opera House is arguably Oslo's most recognized landmark building. Designed by Oslo-based architecture firm Snøhetta (SF Moma), the building opened in 2008 and features a stunning exterior and interior. Its waterfront facade slopes straight down into the harbor.
The architecture features jagged angles, glass, sloping platforms, and white marble which constantly change with the perspective of the viewer. Inside, there are wooden cured walls, which provide an interesting contrast to the exterior. I recommend photographing the Opera House in daytime and nighttime, as it also changes in the light. During the day is a great time to get reflection shots, whereas at night, it is lit up with light installations.
6. Akershus Fortress
This medieval fortress is situated on the Oslo waterfront, complete with a tower and cobblestone streets. Completed in 1290, it offers a bit of old-world history in this modern city.
7. Barcode Buildings
If you arrive to Oslo via bullet train, you will pass by a series of buildings that resemble barcodes. The Barcode Project was completed in 2014 and each skyscraper is slightly unique with varying grey-scale color, floor heights and window shapes. It makes for an interesting and moderncityscape backdrop.
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