Trips: Southern Sweden Stories

Magnus J├Ânsson documents the simple beauty of Southern Sweden and explores how large format photography made him fall in love once again with the landscape on his doorstep.

Flyinge, Kodak Porta 160NC @ f/22

My first large format camera was a Linhof Technikardan 45, which on paper was everything I needed. A year later, it had gotten too heavy and had too many movements for me. There are already so many things to take into account and keep track of in large format photography so I wanted a camera that was simpler to give me fewer things to think about. I was positively surprised when I found out about The Intrepid 4x5, it’s a lightweight, straightforward camera and it greatly simplifies my photography.

Allbäck, Kodak Porta 160NC @ f/16

Simple and intimate

As I prefer to compose straight on, I don’t actually need all the movements that the Intrepid can do. I also like the more intimate look in my nature photos, which I get with a shorter tele lens. The lens I used for all the images in this blog is my Voigtländer 210mm, it's widest apperture is at f/4.5 which simplifies my LF photography even more, because I can compose and focus without any hood or clothing over my head, its even possible to focus in bright sunlight with an aperture that big. Another bonus of a big f-stop is that you could do some really nice portraits.

Dalby, Kodak Porta 400NC @ f/4,5

Östra Grevie, Kodak Porta 400NC @ f/4,5

The intimacy of home

I live in Southern Sweden and I’ve spent time travelling the world, documenting some of the grandest views. But the landscape you have right out of your front door, is the landscape you normally don’t see, and if you do, you may think it is the most boring of them all. For me It has been that way for a long time, and it wasn’t until a year ago that I start exploring my own ‘flat and boring’ landscape. I have now changed my mind and I really like to use the weather to match the feelings of different places around me.

One thing that I have been appreciating recently is how the landscape around me changes during the seasons. Every season has its own charm, like those late summer evenings around 10pm for example.

Knivsåsen, Kodak Porta 160NC @ f/22

Mellanköpinge, Kodak Porta 160NC @ f/18

Initially the most challenging thing I found was to see the potential of the landscape closest to me. But I feel that finally I have overcome that, and for now the hardest thing for me is scanning…!

I scanned all these images with my Epson V800 and with the standard plastic 4x5 frame. It’s a real challenge and I’m still learning. I do most of my work in colour, but I’m really picky about getting the colours right, and for that you need a lot of patience.

Grevie, Kodak E100G @ f/22

Aggarp, Kodak E100G @ f/18

I hope that I have given you some sense of insight and clarity on how you could approach and think about LF photography. 

At least that you don’t have to travel the world to capture the grand views, because you already have them on your door step. My next challenge is to head out and capture the colourful Swedish Autumn.

Kullaberg, Kodak Porta 400NC @ f/22

See more of Magnus's photography on Flickr and Instagram.

The End.