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The View From Here: 27 Photographers Share What They See From Their Windows

By Hanssie on July 29th 2015

Every morning, I wake up with the sun brightly glaring in my eyes. After a moment of annoyance for my disturbed sleep (and I wonder yet again why I don’t just get curtains), I pop up, see the sun and sea and remember to be grateful for another day. Once a month, when the moon is full and bright, I go to bed with a bright stream of moonlight casting shadows in my room as I drift off to sleep. That’s the view from my window.

As part of a project for Somfy, a company that specializes in motorized blinds, awnings, and other window coverings, 27 freelance photographers from around the world submitted two photographs of the view from their window – one in the morning and the second in the evening. They were asked to describe what they saw and how it made them feel. From Argentina to Brazil, Croatia to Pakistan, Serbia to the US, getting a glimpse of what people see out of their windows is interesting, almost voyeuristic.

The company describes the project as “a digital viewfinder that allows the user to journey through the perspectives of those outside their own culture.” Here are some of my favorites:

Viña del Mar, Chile

Rows of high-rise buildings separate me from the Pacific Ocean. This is my first day in the city, and I am anxious to go out and see what it has to show me.

This will only be my home for a few days as we’re on the road at the moment. I hope for clear skies so we can enjoy the city tour we’ve booked. I cannot wait to get out there.

Nine hours later I am back, city tour completed. After a quick shower, I sit on the bed and watch the lights flick on in windows across the city as the dusk comes. ~Mar


Easter Island, Chile

From my window, I can see Ahu Tahai, the island’s sunset spot in the distance. This place makes me feel so calm; I can hear the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks and smell the sea breeze.

I feel very lucky to be here, in the middle of the ocean. I love the peace and how calm this island makes me feel. However, there’s also a sad feeling: I ask myself why is time passing so quickly? ~Juan

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Kolkata, India

Crows patrol outside the century-old house we call home, a home that we are about to lose. We have to sell because the maintenance costs are rising day by day.

From my window I can see the adjacent houses situated on the north side, I can hear my neighbors talking, the dogs barking, and there are birds that sing. But it smells of dogs, as there are 9 dogs living in the gap between my house and the house next to mine

.Whenever I am in this room, I can’t help but think about my childhood because this is the room I used to share with my brother. I love everything about it, this secret window, and the unique view. As darkness falls, you can barely see the distant houses.

I hate the fact that most of the old houses in this neighborhood are being replaced by new apartments. These old houses have been here since Calcutta was the capital of British India. ~Debapriya

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Lecce, Italy

I can see directly into a neighboring apartment. I’ m not sure how many people live there in total, it could be 3 or more. Sometimes I see a person cooking, other times opening or closing the window, but mostly I just hear them chatting and laughing. It’s nice and lively.

The people in the flat underneath mine have a child who’s apparently a bit of a terror. I know this because I can often hear them yelling. The noise gets quite annoying, I wish they’d speak rather than yell all the time.

When it’s dark, finally a cool breeze enters my apartment and brings in the smells my neighbors cooking their dinners. Time to cook myself. ~Sebastian

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Ragaciems, Latvia

I live in a very small village next to the sea; there are only a few people left here. The streets are empty, it’s very calm and quiet. My view is very lush; it’s as if the plants want to make up for the lost time in winter and autumn.

It’s quite windy, and the only sound I can hear is the trees swaying in the wind. I can smell the freshly cut grass from the lot next to me. My neighbor takes good care of it, as he wants to sell it; the land prices have been rising in the last few years. I feel very calm here, that is why I love it so much. ~Janis

Latvia-view-from-here-day Latvia-view-from-here-night

To see the view from other countries, check out the Somfy Systems website here.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Colin Woods

    When I was on Easter Island for a week, we had a week of horizontal rain. Boo hoo.

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    • Graham Curran

      There’s nothing worse than going to a once-in-a-lifetime place and getting the worst possible weather. Sometimes bad light can give you a new perspective on a hackneyed subject and that tests your photographic creativity but other times there is just nothing you can do but keep your equipment dry.

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    • Colin Woods

      It was pretty diabolical. We had four entire days of torrential rain, it was like someone was spraying the windows with a hose. The other three days were drizzle, with occasional drier spells. I got some half decent mono work done with the head statues, but nothing else. At least we were able to catch up on our reading. It was a shame though, as it’s very remote and quite expensive so it’s unlikely we’ll go there again.

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