February 18, 2015
For born and bred Copenhagener Morten Nordstrøm, photography is the way he makes sure to capture the moments that count. Both with his family and the many people that, like him, have chosen to spend their lives in the city. “Most of the streets and buildings in inner Copenhagen are quite old which strengthens the feeling of being a small character in a big scene.”
Copenhagen is my home. I was born and raised in this vibrant city, and now I am raising my own kids in it. Much has changed since I was a kid, but much has also stayed the same. For example, most Danes still feel safe, knowing that they can always go to the hospital if needed, and the crime rates are low. We don’t have much to worry about in Denmark. Still most Danes tend to worry and complain a lot about luxury problems, as ‘the state doesn’t pay me enough for studying, so I can’t afford drinking every Friday and Saturday’. I guess it has always been like this and always will be.
This is also one of the reasons I sometimes feel like a guest in Copenhagen. I know the city as my back pocket, but I am only here for a limited time, like the guys before me were. And that is one of the main reasons why I photograph: to create an interconnectedness between them and me, to create relations across time and place and fix points between me and all the other people who have chosen to spend their life in this city. Most of the streets and buildings in inner Copenhagen are quite old which strengthens the feeling of being a small character in a big scene. The frames are constant, I am just a temporary small part of the scenery.
This is why I photograph. To document history, create relations across time and place and document that I was there. Also, I hate the fact the time flies by so damn fast and my photos help me remember the moments that count. I capture, therefore I am, is what seems to drive me.
Before Instagram, I was also into photographing, but at a much more unserious level. When the camera phone came along with Instagram and the possibility to communicate by visuals with others, I was hooked. From that day, I have looked for motives wherever I go: between meetings in the city, on my way to work, on casual walks, etc. And today, I am working with visual digital communications and as a photographer. In other words, Instagram has not only changed my life career wise, it has also changed my view on life.
One of the things I started to document were puddles. Most people don’t like rain for obvious reasons, but it has always fascinated me. So, a couple of years ago I chose to document the beauty of rain, the way I see it, and it quickly developed into a passion for me. I had fun searching the streets of Copenhagen for new angles, but also with showing people the way I saw the rainy days. I enjoyed seeing their reaction and still do. I like the idea of taking something most people look at negatively and use it for something meaningful that we can all gather around and learn from: As a child, my mother always told me, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes”. As most mothers, she was always right. Sometimes we just need to look at things from a new perspective before we understand how lucky we really are.
Note: Shortly after the photos for the feature were taken, Copenhagen was hit by a terrorist attack on February 14. A man shot two civilians and five policemen killing the two civilians. One of them died in front of the synagogue on Krystalgade, the golden building in the background of these photos. Like all Copenhageners, Morten Nordstrøm is shocked and horrified by the attack on the city. He and his family are alright.