I often visit the north. I used to live in Sweden, lately a combination of work and pleasure periodically takes me to Stockholm. The last time was in December. It was the middle of winter, with temperatures of minus twelve during the day. Because humidity in Sweden is generally very low, it feels much less cold than you might think. But of course it is not California.

I took this picture in December, in a park on Kungsholmen, one of the thousands of islands on which Stockholm is built.

The low temperature did not stop me from hanging around in the street for hours. Obviously with my camera. I dressed properly, made sure the hands didn’t freeze and took an occasional break at Espresso House, the Swedish (and much better) equivalent of Starbucks. The reward was moody winter light and an atmosphere that, even in a busy city like Stockholm, breathes tranquility.

Without the meditative quality of practicing photography, I wouldn’t be taking pictures.

Swedes live in less of a hurry than the Dutch and Belgians. Mañana could be a Swedish word. They have a mindset that is almost southern, but without being busy and loud. They are just confident that good things will work out, and that this sometimes takes time. And often they are right.

It is an attitude I take with me on almost every day I go out for photography, anywhere in the world. I make sure my gear is in order, don’t have big expectations, don’t make any plans, let everything come to me. I’m just prepared and assume that at the end of the day I will have produced something worth while.

And often I’m right.

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