The encounter

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Aug 16 2020

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Category: Europe, Germany

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Light reflections make for intriguing pictures. I like posting them on my blog now and then (look for them under Reflections tag).

In the 3-dimensional world we often see reflections without really noticing them. Our brain immediately filters them out; we look through them. But on a photograph they clearly show up.  The objects in front of the camera, including reflections, are mixed and flattened into a 2-dimensional picture which can sometimes be difficult to decipher.

In this picture of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin we look at glass panes in which we see buildings, a church, clouds and blue sky reflected. But we also look through the glass panes and vaguely see a floor and ceiling inside a hall, mixed with the reflections from outside. 

But what about the bright green trees, where do they come from? I think we still look through a second wall of glass panes at the other side of the hall and the trees may be out there in the sun.

Then the encounter. A woman walks towards a man who is waiting for her. That’s how it looks like. Since she walks in the sun she must be outside and part of the reflection. And the man, where does he stand? We only see his silhouette against the light. Is he also part of the reflection or does he stand somewhere inside the hall? It’s difficult to say. Maybe the man is not waiting for the woman at all. Maybe she isn’t even walking in his direction. Maybe there will be no encounter.

Since I recognize the woman as my wife and since she was going to visit the Neue Nationalgalerie with me, we can be quite sure there was no question of an encounter. If anything is treacherous here it is the reflections.

Photo of the week: Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany 2005

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