Runriket’s day, 11th September 2021

It had come to my attention that Runriket’s Day would be held at Jarlabanke’s Bridge this year. The fair was cancelled last year because of Covid-19 and it was nice to see it return. Jointly organised by Täby and Vallentuna counties, Runriket’s Day spans over two days and is a celebration of the areas viking heritage. The fair consists of a marketplace where traders can sell viking related goods and crafts and an event area where performances are held during the day.

I arrived at Jarlabanke’s Bridge at 10:45, fifteen minutes ahead of the scheduled starting time. The weather was overcast and I had prepared for it with some HP5 Plus. When waiting for the opening ceremony to begin the ticket lady asked if I was short on time. I must have given her a nervous impression, I told her that everything was okay and that I just was a bit excited for the event.

I have noticed that I start to pace a lot if I don’t have anything to do and to avoid this attention grabbing behaviour in the future I will find a place to sit down and read something. That usually settles me down.

Anyway, fifteen minutes passed and the opening ceremony began. Usually there would be a procession with the replica viking ship Viking Plym but, for some reason, this didn’t happen and the nervous, young flautists from Ung Kultur Täby had to carry the show. After a speech from some prominent person the fair began in earnest. The first event of the day would start in an hour and that gave me some time to take a couple of shots of the marketplace.

First out, at 12:00, was the performance group Telge Glima who showcased viking and medieval era games. It actually look really fun and ranked as my favourite show during the day.

At 13:00, right after Telge Glima wrapped up, the magician Mr Dannyman held a magic show. It was okay but too childish for my taste.

Half an hour later, at 13:30, the re-enactment group Huskarlarna showcased viking age combat. By now the sun had poked through the cloud covering, the warriors armaments gleamed in the sun as they clashed with each other on the small battlefield.

By now I had burned through almost one and a half rolls of film and was quite tired so I decided to call it quits. On my way out I handed my ticket to the ticket lady who asked if I got the pictures I was after. With an affirmative I departed to the train station and boarded the train home.

The equipment I chose to cover Runriket’s Dag with was my newly acquired Nikon F2 Photomic and two lenses, a Series E 28mm 1:2.8 and a Nikkor-H.C 50mm 1:2. They worked well but the camera was really loud and it was hard to stay inconspicuous. I really missed my Leica M2 and would had used it instead of the F2 if it wasn’t already occupied for another project.

Even though I mostly photograph with 50mm lenses I felt that a short tele lens in the 85-110mm range would had been beneficial when shooting the combat demonstration.

Besides the thing at the beginning I am actually pleased with my performance during the fair and I even managed to get a photograph for my portfolio. I am getting more used to covering events and I am feeling my fear of strangers losing its grip. Hopefully, one day I will be rid of it.

By Skoge Farman

I am a street photographer based north of Stockholm.

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