Photos don’t lie

I was sifting through my hard drive yesterday, looking for pictures that have not been published so far and that might make a good blog entry. I found the stuff from Copenhagen. We were there on a business trip for my former company, so I just brought my tiny Sony Cybershot DSC-P72, a camera that was (even back in 2005!) far too small for anything professional.

Anyway, we did the tourist thing and visited all the nice places in Copenhagen, while a sharp cold wind was blowing strongly through the streets of the city on that Saturday in February. One of the must-sees is certainly the Little Mermaid that sits on a tiny rock next to the harbour. Before we got there, I was quite excited to finally meet her.

You might have probably seen a picture of her before:

 

Little Mermaid Copenhagen
Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo Copyright © 2005 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

I would like to add that this was a cloudy afternoon, so please take my apologies for the rather shoddy light and the lack of any sparkling reflections on the water. (Please feel free to find hundreds of better looking photos using Google Image Search.) But that’s not the point of this post.

The point is that a good deal of the photos of the Little Mermaid (including mine) could be considered a lie – just a stylish, uber-perfect, kitsch version of reality, created in order to lure visitors to Copenhagen. “How’s that?”, I hear you ask. Well, the (other extreme of) reality looks like this, captured just 19 seconds after the photo above:

 

Little Mermaid Copenhagen
Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo Copyright © 2005 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

There are chimneys – big, ugly, smoking chimneys from some factory or power station – right across the bay, opposite the statue. Now, if you go back to that Google Image Search above you will see that about half of the photographers tried to crop out the chimneys by using my first viewpoint, while the other half either do not care or use a wide stop to blur the background as much as possible.

Photos don’t lie? Pah.

The Little Mermaid on Google Maps
Vancouver’s version of the Little Mermaid

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