Hjorthagen Mariefred

My guide Hjorthagen

In this post I will quickly go through this park and give my thoughts on how to best photograph it.

The park

A park owned by the Swedish king and inhabited by deer. It isn't really to big, but it offers quite a lot of animals in a small area which means that you have a bigger chance of seeing the animals. The animals are not the only thing to see in the park however. The park is full of big old oak trees including some that are dead. All this gives combines into some amazing photography opportunities.

The park is open to the public and is a popular place for walks and jogs. Almost all visitors stick to the paths so going of trail will give the illusion of being in a much deeper in nature than you actually are. Since there are a lot of deer in the park the areas around the trees are mostly kept open so it is easy to walk off track. The only thing that is annoying is the amount of deer poo that will get stuck under your shoos. A small price to pay for the beauty you can see there however.

So the deer's, most definitely plural. It's actually harder to see one deer alone in the park than it is to see the whole herd. They are usually standing around the small entrance to the park. On an open field which makes the photos look a bit more cultivated than what I would actually have preferred. Therefor I would be patient and wait for them to go into the forest and try to photograph them in the forest environment instead, as to give the illusion of them being in the wild.

The gear

Keep in mind that the focal length is for a full frame sensor on a crop sensor you'll have to multiply the crop factor for a similar focal length, especially on the wider end.

I would recommend a longer lens 200-500mm would be preferable for photographing the deer if you want close ups or a more normal lens between 50-100mm if you want to capture a more environmental picture of the deer.

When capturing the nature scenes I would recommend wider lenses 14-50mm would be my recommendation. Since you can get so close to the everything with ease and the trees are so big I would say that it would actually be harder to use a telephoto lens even when you want to capture detail. But if you really prefer detail shots over environmental shots then I think that a 70-200mm would be great.

I had three lenses with me during my visit, a 16-35mm f/4 VR Nikkor, 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor, 70-200mm f/2.8 OS Sigma. 200mm wasn't really enough for capturing the deer inside the forest, where they appear to be more shy. I would have loved to have had a 200-500mm f/5.6 VR Nikkor with me instead of the 70-200mm. When I was walking around and photographing the nature then I was very satisfied with the 16-35mm. The flexibility of wider angles really works well in this park since the trees are so big.

Conclusion

If you ever have the opportunity I would definitely recommend that you take a walk in the park, you can go through the whole park in under 30 minutes so it really isn't that big of an undertaking. It's an experience that I'm confident that you will not regret. The park offers a old kind of nature that is almost non existent in the wild anymore. The only places that I have seen that have the same kind of nature are other natural reserves where that kind of nature is enforced. Hjorthagen is a prime example of this unique old type of forest and receives a huge recommendation form me.