Danish Imports: The Architect

Today I’ll be sharing the second story behind one of my Danish Imports subjects, Luke Lorimer. If you missed the first post then you can read it here. These images were used for my first exhibition, Danish Imports, which was held at Generator Hostel in Copenhagen throughout August and September, 2014.

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Australian Luke Lorimer chills out in his former luxury apartment in the heart of Copenhagen

Australian classically-trained pianist Luke Lorimer moved to Copenhagen in September 2010 to complete a Masters in Engineering and Architecture. “I wanted to learn and grow amongst the best architects in the world,” says Luke.

I photographed Luke whilst he was living in a huge apartment near Tivoli Gardens, which he shared with a Saudi Arabian UN official who was never at home. At the time, Luke was receiving ‘Dagpenge’ and looking for work, yet still lived in a luxurious city-centre apartment (Danish rapper L.O.C. lived next door) and hosting dinner parties for guests. The rooms were full of expensive artwork, sculptures and furniture, and a far cry from the small, boxy flats that most Copenhageners are used to.

A short time after moving in to the apartment, Luke was suddenly told, “I’m afraid you need to move out by the end of the week: My butler from New York is moving in.” Luke took to DBA to find a new place to live, even finding a temporary home by Nyhavn at one point.

Luke admits that breaking in to Danish groups and finding Danish friends has been difficult, along with learning the language. But he loves the compactness of the city, which ‘enables you to visit a friend or the shops within minutes on your bike’, and lives an enviable social life. He’s a big fan of the beautiful parks and beaches, too.

Luke’s new ideas, positive energy and his art are his contributions to Danish society, he says, and he hopes to live in Copenhagen and work as a full time artist in the future. You can see (and purchase) some of his work via http://artrebels.com/shop/stores/lukelorimer

Luke speaks English and Danish.

Getting the Shot

This was the second photograph I took for the project, which was still a long way off from being formed in my mind. All I knew at the time, was that the size of Luke’s apartment impressed me, especially as the rest of us have to make do with a tiny box with a toilet inside.

The first few pictures we took were pretty boring. Luke just stood and read an architecture magazine at my request, and occasionally looked up towards the camera. It was dull as hell.

But then I started to ask questions about the things he did when he wasn’t out socialising. Luke had the place all to himself most of the time and could pretty much do whatever he wanted, but he still liked to relax, drink wine, practice yoga and read. But how do you show all of this in one photo?

The simple solution was to take four separate pictures and combine them together in Photoshop, which was something I wasn’t that good at. But I like a challenge and so I setup my tripod and got Luke to assume a few different positions. The light was pretty strong coming in through the window, and that’s why his face looks bleached in the background version of him sitting in the chair.

The Photoshopping took ages, as I carefully deleted overlapping legs and boots. Interestingly enough, it was months later that I noticed just how much more work needed doing to make the image look cleaner. I’ve got a lot to learn about Photoshop, I thought.

But that was over two years ago now and I’m not sure I’d try and recreate the idea. It gets used a lot and can sometimes look amazing, but it’s not a new concept. Definitely worth practicing if you want to improve your editing skills, however.