Capturing the beauty - a chat with a subwaygrammer
Publish date: 13 November 2020
With their uniquely decorated wall and beautiful art, many of Stockholm’s metro stations are truly photogenic. Visitors and residents alike seem to find new angles in its stations every day.
Some stations, of course, are more popular than others. But you don’t have to travel far from downtown Stockholm to find mesmerizing stations. We asked Linn Heimdahl (@linnheimdahl), photographer and frequent subwaygrammer about her favorite stations and how to best capture their beauty.
You frequently post photos taken in the Stockholm subway. Why?
– There’s just so much to photograph! It feels like every single station has an abundance of cool angles. And I’m also a sucker for symmetry which makes the subway, with all of its escalators and straight lines, a natural place for me to take pictures of.
When and why did you get interested in Stockholm subway station photography?
– A couple of years after starting my Instagram account I started discovering all these cool pictures of subway station from all over the world. I immediately felt drawn to these photos, especially the ones taken in Stockholm by my friend Patrick [@Shantiwarrior on Instagram]. He encouraged me to take my camera underground and have a go at it myself, which I’m very grateful for considering what I could’ve been missing out on!
Why do you think Stockholm's subway stations are so popular for taking photos?
– It’s a different world down there, filled with art, architecture, and color. And it’s easy to take pictures of. No matter what your skills as a photographer are, most pictures turn out great. I also think that more people, not necessarily photographers, should take their time to discover the beauty of the subway. Most people just rush through the stations, in a hurry to their destination. Just think about all the work that’s gone into creating the stations. It’s fascinating.
Do you have any pointers for taking a beautiful subway station photo?
– Don’t rush. Take a moment to walk around a get a feel for the whole station. There’s so much to see if you just stop and look. Snap some test photos from different angles, see which one highlights the object best to your liking. Personally, I love searching for new angles, since I want the pictures to have my touch. I love the feeling when I take a picture that feels totally unique at a place that’s been photographed already, many, many times.
So what makes a good subway photo, then?
– Well, I can only speak for myself, but I love symmetrical and colorful pictures. But it’s important to capture the light in a suitable way. You don’t want to overexpose a dark but instead, keep that dim atmosphere.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
– The many gifted photographers on Instagram are definitely an inspiration. But mostly the places I’m photographing serve as the biggest inspiration.
Which are your favorite stations?
– Mörby Centrum is definitely a favorite. The colors are beautiful, especially the pink and white walls. Rissne is another favorite. It’s one of the few bright stations, which gives it an elegant atmosphere. I also have a soft spot for Duvbo, with its striped floor and red elements. There are lots of beautiful stations besides the most popular and I think everyone should take some time to explore the ones further away from downtown Stockholm. Skarpnäck, Huvudsta, and Akalla to name a few.
How often do you take photos (in the subway)?
– At least once a month. But I carry my camera with me almost at all times, in case I feel inspired and want to snap a picture. Many of my pictures are actually taken during my daily travels
Which is your favorite picture, and why?
– It’s difficult to pick just one picture, I guess I have a few. My photo in this article is a favorite, it's of my friend Lovisa in the new commuter line station Odenplan. I like how I captured the lines, symmetry, and colors. I also have to say my escalator pics. I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out and my editing of them. A portrait of me in Rissne turned out really nice, and one of Duvbo is another since it’s one of my favorite stations