29 april 2014

The Undertaker

Like I mentioned earlier on I've been busy with the entry exam for Photojournalist here in Aarhus.

The theme this year was "Under the City", which I choose to interpret quite literally, and therefore arranged to follow an undertaker for a day. It was a mentally challenging experience but equally interesting, and the experience has definitely stayed with me for a while.

I would have loved to have had the time to follow him for more than just a day though. I think this would have given a more interesting and diverse view on what an undertaker actually does besides what we see from the outside.

Either way, here it is:

" Most of us try not to think about it all too much. Death. But it is however inevitable that we will all meet with it at some point. Then we will find our last place of rest in the earth under the city.
Here we will find peace and quiet and slowly become one with nature, while life goes on a few feet above us.
But before we can get there there are a couple of very special people we need to get through first: The undertakers. They posses the key to our place under the city. "

Undertaker John Skou and his three colleagues from Begravelse Danmarks Aarhus-department meet up every morning and plan the day over coffee and cigarettes. Something might have happened over night which might influence the original plan.
Even though the job has a serious natural weight to it, there is still room for jokes and laughter. "It's necessary with this job", says Skou.

A cremator at Vestre Lille Kapel crematorium is preparing a coffin for cremation while conversing with Skou.
On top of the coffin lies a drawing from the deceased's grandchild. This small gesture suddenly made it all very real and personal.

Approximately 80% of the job as undertaker consists of paperwork, and furthermore a lot of the day is spent driving around between home visits, the different graveyards and crematorium, hospitals, and Begravelse Danmarks storage-facilities in Risskov where they store the coffins and hearses.
The conversations with the families of the deceased and preparing the bodies and making them look nice for when their families cast one last look on them is the part of the job that means most to him.

Around midday a man calls. His father has passed at Skejby Hospital just an hour prior. Skou writes down the details and works out a price for him immediately per request.
There is a fine balance between business and it's cold numbers, and then the very personal and caring contact with the relatives of the deceased.

23 april 2014


Yesterday I showed you my first series for the entrance exam for Photojournalist. Today I'll show you what I did for my second tryout last year, which some of you might have already seen.

The theme was a quote from a Danish song: "Så kys det dog det satans liv", which loosely interpreted means "embrace that damn life".
I choose to focus on the you only live once/carpe diem-feeling this gave me and immediately thought of extreme sports such as surfing, snowboarding and skating, where it's practitioners not only do the sport - they live it. It becomes more than an extreme sport. It is a lifestyle and a way of looking at life.

I therefore contacted one of Denmark's best kite sufers, Nikolaj Holmlund, who brought me along on a cold and windy March day in North Zealand.

Ultimately the series for Photojournalist are only four photographs but I've decided to show a few more shots from the day here.

22 april 2014


It's been a little quiet on the blog lately, but I'm happy to say it hasn't been because I've neglected photography - on the contrary.

At the moment I'm preparing for the entry exam for Photojournalist on Saturday, and therefore thought I would show you the previous series I've done when trying out.

Today's series is from my first attempt back in 2011 where the theme given to us was "strength" which I decided to show through ballet dancers.
They need to have such an extreme physical strength whilst also having an enormous mental strength and willpower in order to even survive in the industry.
I think it is interesting how something so extreme can be so beautiful at the same time, and I admire these dancers so much for making it all look so elegant and absolutely effortless.
It truly is an art.

Keep posted for tomorrow where I will show you the series I did for last years tryout.

31 marts 2014


Last week after work at Badeanstalten Spanien I grabbed my camera and walked around the building looking for shots for my current project. Not at all creepy walking around alone a huge, vacant, old building by the way...

 A rare selfie - in my very attractive uniform none the less...

 One of the offers at the spa, Grossererbadet, is the so called 'quiet rain'. Besides this there are two stream rooms (one of them scented - my favorite), a sauna where we do 'gus', two different 34 degree-pools, hot and cold massage showers, an ice cold water pool, and a sun terrace which is lovely to sit on and relax in the summer, and great for cooling of in the winter - especially with snow after sauna gus!

 Organized mess at our cleaning facilities.

During a work day I run these stairs innumerable times. There are 4 floors between the ticket sale, locker rooms, swimming pool, the Grossererbad and our private courters.
But they are an absolute architectural beauty to look at!

The pool used to be one big pool with 6 lanes and a deep end with diving boards. After the remodeling the bottom was elevated and now has just three lanes but an added playing area, baby pool and jacuzzi.

Hang me up to dry…

I love these old original wooden benches. They've been there since the opening in 1933. It's amazing that most of them have actually survived.

30 marts 2014


The sky was absolutely beautiful at sunset last Tuesday.

Note: No editing has been done to these pictures.

29 marts 2014


Last sunday, after a long day at work, I decided to bike down to the harbor to catch the last rays of light.

20 marts 2014


On the 2nd of March art cinema Øst For Paradis held their annual Oscar Night. This was the first time since I've become a volunteer there that I was both a part of the crew working the event and had to photograph at the same time. Fun!
Here are a couple of mood photographs from the very long but very cosy night.

Pop over to the cinema's official Facebook page for red carpet pictures and much more! Note that there are two albums: pre- and mid show.

In spirit of the night we put up a very alternative curtain.

Goodiebags with - amongst others - a dvd and gift certificates to the record shop Stardust and chocolatier Sommerbird.

Two of my wonderful - and very well dressed - colleagues, Simone and Rikke.

Before the guests arrived a couple of the people working the event did a TV-interview about the event.

What a beauty!

Another very proper dressed co-member of the Oscar-crew, Anders, ready to bid the guests champagne upon arrival.

Two jazz musicians made sure to set the mood pre-show.

As you might be able to make out from these gentlemen's t-shirts they were quite disappointed that Joaquin Phoenix wasn't nominated for his performance in Her - luckily they seemed to be in quite the cheerful mood in spite of that.

My colleague, Rikke, was dressed up as the character Shosanna from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

Our hero of an operator, Mathias, took a well deserved break during the show.

 Posters of Nebraska, 12 Years A Slave, Ne Me Quitte Pas, August: Osage County, Wadjda, and Dallas Buyers Club - four of which had Oscar nominations.

12 Years A Slave ended up winning both Best Original Sceenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o) and of course the grand prize of the night; Best Film, while Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto took home statuettes for their individual roles in Dallas Buyers Club.

On a side note I can definitely recommend you go see Nebraska if you haven't seen it yet! (: