one day at a time

day 320: I see something you don’t see

I see something you don't see © Verena Fischer 2012

I see something you don’t see © Verena Fischer 2012


I was in my old neighbourhood in Düsseldorf yesterday. I lived there for 4 years and I loved it. I had a 45sq flat with a balcony, in a quiet area called Derendorf and I also had a nice tree and a duck pond in front of my kitchen window. Yesterday I went to see my friend Martine and she only lives 2 or 3 streets from my old apartment. Her street ends right across from my favourite café, Othello’s, which is run by an old actor who used to play Othello. On the way back I stopped by a supermarket where I often went. When I walked out I felt like going the way I used to go when I was on my way back home after doing the shopping. Strange how easily old habits come back to you.

I took this picture from the tram and I’m amazed at how many layers it has. I mainly took the picture because of the builders and the girl walking behind them without them noticing. Only in postprocessing I saw that it was doubly self-referential and had to laugh. First of all, in the reflection of the window a guy seems to be pointing back at the girl for the benefit of the two builders. Secondly, the writing in the shop window says “I see something you don’t see”. Apart from seeing the girl I also see the funny bat on the plant bucket, which is invisible to the two guys as well. Well, clearly I saw something that they didn’t see. And then my camera saw even more than me …!


11 responses

  1. Love Düsseldorf, and this shot’s great – once you start to see the layers working it’s such a complex and interesting image.

    June 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    • Thanks Richard! For German speaking people I wouldn’t have to explain what the writing meant and the layers would get apparent more easily. That’s the flaw I find with the picture. Apart from that I was actually surprised myself.
      And I love Düsseldorf as well 🙂

      June 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

  2. Tammy

    You ability to see the layers is what makes you such a great photographer! What a wonderful street scene!

    June 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    • Thank you so much Tammy! I read an article somewhere how small apertures in street photography don’t make sense, because layered photographs are the ones that stay interesting after you have seen the obvious subject. Also Roland Barthes says in his book on photography that he rarely finds the obvious intended subject interesting, which also makes sense to me. So, usually my street photography now happens at f/5.6, just because it’s so much easier to have an accidentally great photo. Thanks again for your kind words Tammy! 🙂

      July 9, 2012 at 10:07 am

  3. This is classic street photography at its best.

    July 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    • Thank you George! I find this assessment really flattering, because classic street photography is something I strive for and hardly ever achieve.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

  4. Hahaha…
    Initially I ONLY noticed the bat. Really. Honest. What girl? Where?

    July 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm

  5. Interesting juxtaposition between the skirt, dungarees (which look like leiderhosen because of the patched knees) and the shrub. Great shot! 🙂

    July 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    • Thanks 🙂 I had to laugh a bit about the lederhosen reference. Germans don’t wear Lederhosen, Bavarians do 😉

      July 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

      • Haha… I never suggested he was German (and my German geography’s not the best, lol…)

        July 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      • Mind you, he probably was, considering that it was in Düsseldorf 😉

        July 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

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