Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Art of Architectural Photography 12-28-2013

Artifacts of a culture are the subject of art for me.  Throughout history humans created and left artifacts for various reasons.  I often think of myself as a flaneur, roaming about different places and taking photographs of what appeals to me. As I explore, I have a strong inclination to shoot artifacts from older architecture: doorknobs and knockers; hinges; lintels; window frames and carvings of all types.  New York City, while ever changing affords me the opportunity to find many details of architecture from the past.  I love taking photos of metal as I go about my photography travels,  although it is hard to shoot.  Frequently the highlights are blown out.  Light and pattern can be distorted because of reflection.  Photographing metal at an angle can help as can filters, exposure and other technique/equipment.  Important, too, is always composition.  This metal detail is located in Chelsea Market, a place which began its life as a factory.  The circular shapes and texture create an interesting contrast that is alluring for me.  I also appreciate the way that light is evident even in the darkest darks.

Black and White Metal Architectural Detail, NYC


Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Art of Architectural Photography 12-22-2013

Every place provides inspiration.  I recently traveled to Europe and was thrilled to see the "old" architecture and cobbled streets that I love.  However, modern architecture provides insights and motivation.  I carry my camera everywhere.  The LUMIX DMC -LX7 is small enough to easily take along and its low-light shooting capabilities are good for interiors.  When I saw this mulit-level geometric configuration I used my LUMIX to capture different views, all the while abstracting the images in my mind.  Abstraction can be very helpful when shooting any genre.  It is especially useful in completing finished photographs so that the forms can be in focus and not the small details that often mar an image.  For example, the artist must build the structure of the head before putting the pinpoints of light in the eyes.  Abstraction helps any visual artist/photographer discover the building blocks and allow the basic forms to emerge.  Abstraction also provides excellent information about the lights and darks.  Frequently straight lined modern structures are more easily abstracted than older more complex architecture.  Here is my abstraction of a modern interior.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Art of Architectural Photography 12-15-2013

One of the most beautiful buildings in Manhattan is The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen's home at 20 West 44th Street in the heart of New York City.  I was fortunate to photograph the building for an exhibit of my photography and a talk I gave in The General Society's marvelous Library two years ago.
On December 11, 2013 PBS Live from the Artists Den filmed Vampire Weekend preforming live at The General Society's Library.  I was delighted that one of my black and white photographs was chosen by Live from the Artists Den to be used as a poster as promotion for Vampire Weekend in concert!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Art of Architectural Photography 12-8-2013

  Composition is a foundation of all visual art.  Form, texture, line, light and dark must work together compositionally to give an overall feeling to the work.  The essential concept of composition is to keep the eye interested and moving throughout the image.  Regardless of subject, the composition should work as a whole.  From florals to images of war, superior artworks are composed to create parts that equate to the whole in relevant ways.
     Art Deco is a marvelous medium with which to emphasize composition.  In this sepia photograph of an Art Deco lobby in Miami, the strong lines of the genre compliment the architecture and exterior scenery.  Plant shapes are a popular motif in Art Deco and the actual live palm tree echoes this theme. The use of warm sepia tones also accentuates the vibe of the photograph.

"Miami Light"
Sepia Architectural Art Photograph: Miami, Florida

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Art of Architectural Photography 12-2-2013

Essential to the art of architectural photography or any art is the communication between the photographer/artist and the viewer.  I believe this is the basis of my photography.  The dialogue begins when I first see my subject.  I then take the picture and later create an image that conveys that about the architecture which I would like to tell others.  I always shoot in color because color provides more reference for me.  Later I convert my photographs to black and white or sepia using the color tonalities as a guide.  Fundamental is the art of the architecture and above all else: the light.  Light is magical and marvelous.  Capturing the light is challenging and the ultimate reward.  My photographic aesthetic revolves around light and that is what, above all else, I want to communicate through my art.

In the two black and white photographs the light emphasizes the architecture while drawing the eye towards the doorway.  Compositionally, the light provides contrast and fluidity.

Durrell United Methodist Church: Bethlehem, NH
                                  Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation: Bethlehem, NH

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Art of Architectural Photography 11-25-2013

Architecture is art.  Structures are created using the same principles as any visual art form.  In fact, these art fundamentals must actually physically support architecture.  The ornamentation of architecture embellishes the basic form.  These architectural details are also guided by the essentials of design.

This building ornament is set into many brick structures in NYC.  The featured design compliments brickwork wonderfully because it juxtaposes undulating forms with the geometrical brick .  It is an Art Deco design called the Waterfall.  Its symmetry is stand alone beautiful.  As an architectural detail it adds beauty, interest and flow to the architecture.  I used sepia in this photograph as a tonality to emphasize the cascading lines of the design and the pop of negative space.

Waterfall Art Deco Architectural Detail: Sutton Place, NYC 
Sepia Architectural Photograph:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Art of Architectural Photography

Art is as old as humans.  Some of the first evidences of art are the cave drawings, which depict the human desire for self-expression: to tell others, or perhaps his/her own feelings and perceptions about life.
Architecture is as old as human life as well.  Shelter was sought from environmental conditions, such as heat, storms and animal predators.  The "architecture" may have been provided by nature, i.e. caves, but it was architecture nonetheless.
Photography is the capture of light to produce images.  This very basic personal definition has given me the foundation for my life's work.  Light imaging is the third in the trilogy of the art of architectural photography.  As old as art and architecture, light imaging has given humans a way to particularize their lives, ideas emotions.
Expressing my own point of view through the three oldest art forms is challenging and infinitely rewarding!

Photograph of Flower Architectural Detail in Black and White: Water Street, NYC

Friday, September 6, 2013

To Be Continued

I have not abandoned my blog by any means.  I have been thinking about the direction the blog should take in order for me to express my passion for photography and to appeal to readers who love photography, too. 
I have a plan and will begin blogging again soon.
Meanwhile I have the honor and delight of sharing my thoughts through the venerable and stellar photography publication Black Star Rising:

I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Capturing Exposures

My photographer/fine artist friend Matthew G. Beall has created a marvelous new web publication: Capturing Exposures  Capturing Exposures features wonderful photographers and insightful information about photography.
"Capturing Exposures’ mission is very simple: to showcase quality photographs by photographers who make them.  Capturing Exposures subscribes to the idea of quality and consistency over quantity."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Art, Antiques and Luxury Design Blog

I was given a wonderful opportunity by Elliot Lee  to contribute an article about photography to the marvelous Art, Antiques and Luxury Design Blog.  AAD articles are most informative and a very enjoyable read.  The contributors to the Blog are knowledgeable and their essays foster thought and appreciation for the arts.  Here is a link to my article:

I hope you also have a chance to look at the rest of the site.  Art, Antiques and Luxury Design Blog will inspire you!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


For the past year I have been working on a photography essay about religion as presented through photography.  Since 1975 I have been spending time in the small New Hampshire town of Bethlemhem.  For many of the residents of Bethlehem, integral to the their New England way of life has always been Worship.  There are a number of Houses of Worship in Bethlehem.  I am most familiar with the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation and the Durrell United Methodist Church, having attended events and services at both.
As an architectural photographer, my orientation to communicating my subject through my images is architecture.  Through this lens I perceived how the Durrell Church and the BHC offer their congregants a place to practice religion and the objects contained within each place that are  symbolically profound to religion.
It was a serious undertaking for me.  And a labor of love and respect for two Houses of Worship that I hold dear.  I am honored to be able to exhibit my Worship photographs in August.
For more about my experience in photographing for the exhibit please click on this link: 

 To see the Worship photographs use this link:


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Limitless Possibilities

Walking around with my camera presents limitless possibilities.  I see a building or an architectural detail and I begin to frame it in my mind. The endless array of architecture I am drawn to gives me inspiration.
No matter how many times I see NYC on my rounds, sights there always foster creativity.
I frequently walk up 6th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.  Beginning my trek at at 34th Street, where I always glance and/or stare at the Empire State Building, I continue up to the 40's where I usually give nod to Grand Central before I go into one of the buildings where I have meetings or an activity.
One day last week I looked across 42nd Street and thought, "Who moved the Empire State Building!"  There it was: reflected in a glass building eight blocks away.  I had never noticed it as a reflection in just that spot. What a treat to see it as a reflection.  And what an inspiration for the limitless possibilities prompted by the icon shimmering in all its majesty.

The Inspiration

 Empire State Building: Reflected

Monday, June 17, 2013

As Is

The area of Hell's Kitchen has transformed itself from a dangerous and seedy place into a slick, trendy neighborhood.  Now referred to as "Clinton,"  the streets of Hell's Kitchen (West of Times Square in midtown Manhattan) are lined with chic restaurants, upscale boutiques and pricy vintage shops.  I walk here frequently.  I have seen the many changes wrought over the last decade in Hell's Kitchen.  Occasionally I see something that smacks of the neighborhood's past life.  This iron grate is on the side courtyard of a brownstone close to 9th Avenue.  The building is slightly run-down, like a tired chorus dancer from the near-by theaters.  The grate is artfully fashioned from a time when craftsmanship was lavished on so many structures and their accoutrements throughout the City.  I love the design of the metal grate: swirls, spokes, ribbon-like flowers.  I thought to "clean it up" in post production.  Give it a polished look.  But I realized that some things are best left As Is.  Flaws, chunks of plaster, cracks and all bespeak of survival, age and the struggle to preserve the beauty and history that is New York City's heritage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Enormous of Enorminity

I have always thought of skyscrapers as enormous.  They scrape the sky.  I look up at the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building and feel tiny: a speck of humanity in the shadow of huge structures that inspire me, dwarf me and invariably fill me with pride at humankind's accomplishments of reaching for the heights.  However, once in a while my perspective shifts. 
On Sunday,  I visited the American Crafts Festival at Lincoln Center  It's a great outdoor show that highlights extraordinary craftsmanship and artistry in fabric design, jewelry making, pottery, glass art and a host of other stunning creations made from the imagination and talented hands of artists/artisans.  As I left the Festival I walked along thinking of how human beings can design, mold, fashion and produce works of beauty, wonder and skill.
As I rounded the corner of West End Avenue, I chanced to look up to admire the skyscrapers I love: another form of human virtuosity.  I pointed my camera at some tall buildings that were under construction.  Through the lens I saw a form of workmanship that was breathtaking.  The stuff that promotes inspiration and has always provided vision: Nature.  High above the "in-progress" tower constructed by humans, soared a dazzling cloudscape.  A magnificent display of nature's continuing stimulation and challenge to our inventiveness.

Cloudscrape with Skyscraper Detail

Art genre: Black and White art photography

Photography tip: When photographing clouds, make sure to contrast cloud edges so that clouds don't appear as white "blobs" in the sky.  Clouds are challenging to photograph because their amorphous shapes can blend together and give a "flat" appearance.

Location: Shot from West End Avenue and 65th Street facing South, NYC

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recent Mists of Time

According to the dictionary, Mists of Time refers to happenings of long ago.  I associate Mists of Time with a dreamy feeling.  Sort of like seeing near and far memories through a blurred filter on the lens.  This is the feeling I have about some of my 2010 adventurers in Australia and New Zealand.  They are a bit hazy and multilayered.
The high point of my 17 (7 planes!) day trip was meeting a family with whom I had been corresponding for 40+ years.  We had experienced a great many joys and sorrows through the years and I dearly wanted to say hello in person.  That part of my trip will always give me the most cherished memories.  It is intriguing to "meet" people with whom you have had an ongoing and intimate conversation for a long time. I was wined and dined and taken to many beautiful sights, but most of all, I was, in person, taken into the family as I had been through letters and later emails and rare phone calls.  That deep family bond continues as it always will, enhanced and strengthened by my visit.
I also took about 6,000 photographs during my travels.  Occasionally I look at the images to remind myself of a particular moment.  I recently looked at some photos I had taken in Queenstown, a stunning lakeside resort town in southern N.Z.  I stayed in Queenstown for a few days towards the end of my trip, looking around and shooting the architecture and the "Lord of the Rings" scenery.  It was a golden time there: summer into fall, early April.  One day on a whim I booked an afternoon trip to Walter Peak Farm: a well touted tourist attraction and a functioning sheep farm.  I was not sure what I expected when I got off the boat that was the way to the farm.  It was about a half hour trip from Queenstown on placid waters.  This is what I saw as I walked through lovely blooming gardens towards the magnificent homestead.  A wonderful memory, slightly misted but reminiscent of an unforgettable time.

Approaching Walter Peak Farm: Queenstown, N,Z.

Leaving Walter Peak Farm: Queenstown, N.Z.

Art genre: Sepia art photography

Photography tip: Sepia can be cool or warm with many tonalities in between.  When using sepia as a value range, explore its many temperatures as these affect enormously the visuals of the image.  These images were enhanced with both orange and pink filters to provide a warm tone.

Location: Walter Peak Farm: Queenstown, New Zealand

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Encounter Two

In my last post I presented two wonderful bronze figurines that I saw in the subway.  These charming creatures brightened up my day.  They surprised and delighted me on a stressful day.  However, when I was working on the image in post production, I noticed a small pair of feet at the top of my photograph.  I was astounded!  Where there more sculptures in that particular subway station?  What was connected to those feet in small bronze rounded pointy little shoes?  Recalling the rest of the figure escaped me.  I did have the feet but not the body or head.
I returned to the subway station in NYC to get a shot of the whole figure whose shoes had intrigued me.  The station was quite out of the way and I wondered why I felt compelled to seek out the rest of the statue as I walked along the crowded streets.  Yet, when I got to the subway, I was rewarded by the sight of a humorous figurine so different from the other two small sculptures.  I encountered a sight that made me smile.   It was so unexpected!  I think that photography is a way of discovering the world for me and for everyone else who enjoys in visual

Three Bronze Figures: NYC Subway

Mr. Money Bags: NYC Subway

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Chance Encounter

On a day last week I was out photographing the sights in NYC.  I had carefully planned the day and was glad to see the weather report was favorable: wrong..... After the commute and the subway ride with 15 pounds of gear and other bags, etc, I arrived in a lovely Greenwich Village, a quaint part of town to light showers.  I was prepared with an umbrella, but not delighted as the showers turned to rain.  After a calming cup of soup (weather was also to be 65 degrees and topped out at 48), I set out to capture what was left of the afternoon.  I shot 250 photographs, several of which were really nice!  The adrenaline was taking over!
Heading back to the subway, cold, damp and weary, I looked up as I descended into Rush Hour.  To my great surprise I saw these figures watching over the scene.  Well worth my trip to capture whimsy in the NYC subway!

NYC Subway

Subway Whimsy

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Niche

I am usually a forward thinking person.  Although the past, my past has had an enormous impact on my life, I always caught up in future projects.  Thinking of new ways to better my skills; new photography essays; visualizing unique perspectives for architectural images; how to enhance my art.  These are my focus.  When I do recall the past, I reflect on others who have influenced my work and of course wonderful instances of personal relationships, which also had and still have a profound effect on me and my aesthetic.
However, once in a while I trace my path as an artist photographer.  I am surprised when I do.  What amazes me is the journey that got me to where I am today and the marvelous opportunities that were open to me.  Click on the link to see how I came to be an architectural art photographer:

Queen Victoria Building: Sydney, Australia

Art genre: Black and White architectural detail art photograph

Photography tip: When using "lights" (artificial bulbs or shafts of natural light) as accents, make sure the points or beams of light emphasize the overall composition and do not take over.

Location: Sydney, Australia

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


More city jewelry.  This one, an invitation to come in.

Brass Door: Midtown, NYC

Photography tip: Rarely do I appreciate the white, "blownout" areas that photographing metal can produce.  However, in this architectural, the strong and just slightly off kilter horizontals & verticals allowed for some POP.  The blowouts add a brightness & a glow that accentuates the brass.

Note: Because the horizontals and verticals are so defined, the abstracted reflections also add interest but do not divert attention from the main focus.

Friday, May 3, 2013

City Jewels

I love looking at metal architectural details.  They seem to me like building "jewelry."  Indeed, years ago architects and builders gave much consideration to dressing up their structures with metal ornaments.  Wonderful building materials were used lavishly to compliment any public place and private homes.  Today this is a rarity....often it is deemed too expensive to adorn with architectural jewels.
I was at one of my favorite places: Grand Central Station and spied these door handles. And the great signage: "Push."  I had not noticed this solid brass door frame in a long time.  It glowed there quietly in the night while people rushed in and out.  I took many photos of this doorway, patiently waiting for the commuters to be on their various ways (and out of my images!).  City architectural jewels are everywhere: brass door handles; wrought iron door knockers; stained glass windows; railings made of carved wood.
As I stood there snapping away with my camera, a night owl youngster about maybe 5 said: "What are you taking pictures of?"  I pointed to the door handles.  "What!" he demanded.  When I explained my appreciation of the brass architectural jewelry, he gently ran his hand over the metal.  "Cool!"  I think so, too.


Monday, April 29, 2013

One Door Two Ways

Doors are fascinating to me.  Not only are many doors beautiful and/or interesting from an architectural design perspective, all doors have a certain cache.  All the comings and goings.  The historical aspects.  The people who enter and depart.  When I see doorways, I am so tempted to knock, ring, go in!  Especially entrances to buildings that are wonderfully conceived.  From rustic weathered wooden barns to concrete loading dock's metal doors with rivets to wrought iron swirled stained-glass mansion's portals each holds mysteries and charm for me.   Here is a door that I shot from straight on and its side.  The limestone home on Manhattan's Upper East Side is for sale...........

Art genre: Sepia architectural detail art photograph

Photography tip: Shoot in RGB and then explore the range of sepias; there are many.

Location: Upper East Side, NYC

Friday, April 26, 2013

Brooklyn College Tour

Yesterday I gave a photo tour of the Brooklyn College Campus.  It took me back to my undergrad days!  The campus was alive with students who were enjoying the beautiful spring weather.  The plantings: tulips, cherry blossoms, daffodils and other colorful flowering plants are also thriving on the beautiful quad.  And provided marvelous counterpoint to the magnificent Brooklyn College buildings.
The photo tour group first convened in a classroom to look at my handout (check my web site next week under Insights).  We discussed architectural photography, composition, line, form and the thrill of picture taking.  Then we took photographs on campus.  Each member of the tour had different ideas about photographing the available sights and these were encouraged.  One loves to take shots of flowers; one wanted to shoot the architecture.  Every photographer perceives surroundings through a different artistic orientation and that's one of the greatest things about photography.  I got a truly wonderful compliment when one photographer said to me: "After taking this tour, I see the world through new eyes.  Everything is more fascinating!"

Lily Pond: Brooklyn College

Library: Brooklyn College

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Brooklyn College Photo Tour



 Classes Beginning This Week
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
·        Photographing the Brooklyn College Campus –12:15-2, 3154 Boylan
Bring your camera or even a picture-taking cell phone.
New Faculty Starting This Week
--> ·   Photographer Ellen Fisch: 

“Photographing the Brooklyn College Campus”    
Ellen is an architectural photographer who gives workshop shoots and subsequent critiques. She has previously shared her expertise with us, first through a show of her stunning Wall Street photos in IRPE’s Gallery 3160 last year and then in a very well-received Intellectual Life lecture about architectural art photography in the fall semester. Those who have heard her speak have been impressed by 
--> artistic and technical aptitude.    
Around the Campus
Monday, April 22
·        conTEMPO1, student musical performances - 7-9PM, studio 312, Roosevelt extension
Tuesday, April 23
·        Conservatory Guitar Ensemble - 7-8PM, studio 312, Roosevelt extension
Wednesday, April 24
·        Conservatory Brass Ensemble, 5-6PM studio 312, Roosevelt extension
·        MFA Intergenre Reading Series with Timothy Donnelly and Elizabeth Strout 6-7:30PM, 2231 Boylan Hall
Program Changes
·        The Short Story: American and International – Add 4/22, 29 & 5/6
·        At Trip Thru Life Via the Short Story – Course Cancelled
·        Spanish Conversation – Add 4/24, 5/1 & 5/8
·        The Classical Piano Concerto Performed Live on Film – Add 4/24, Cancel 5/1

Monday, April 15, 2013

Coming Soon

I've been invited to give a Photo Tour of the Brooklyn College Campus by IRPE: Institute for Retirees in Pursuit of Education.  In preparation for the tour I went back to my Alma Mater to take photos for a handout I'm preparing for the group of every photographic skill level.  This preparatory visit  was a wonderful day for me to connect with my time on the Brooklyn College Campus as a student in the late 1960's.  A rush of memories filled the afternoon with wonderful thoughts of days when I was learning about photography and everything was new and exciting.  I still am!  It still is!

Brooklyn College: Brooklyn, NY

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I have been traveling to Manhattan ever since I was a small child.  First I took the subway from Brooklyn; then from the Bronx.  Now I am a Long Island Rail Road commuter.  Each time I have crossed a bridge, gone through a tunnel or, once in a while, flown over Manhattan Island, I think of Oz: the place of my dreams.  The City is crowded, noisy and not always sparklingly clean, but I have loved it all my life.  It is filled with enchantments, marvels, wonders.  I chanced upon the Empire State Building on a recent night walk.  Oz!

Oz: Manhattan, NY

Monday, April 8, 2013

Time Gone By

Time gone by in our culture has as many meanings/interpretations as the word time itself.  The past calls up different memories and relationships for almost everyone.  Of course, time gone by can be an associative memory that may be held by many individuals.  I think that New Yorkers and those familiar with NYC, when considering time gone by as far as the physical City goes, can connect with the iconic images that were presented as paintings (Childe Hassam's wonderful street scenes of NYC) or photographs (the construction workers atop a beam or the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square).  Of course each of us has a recollection of the past look of NYC's ever evolving facade.  I recall the care with which everyday buildings were constructed.  Warehouses; service entrances and loading docks all received some ornamentation to create architectural appeal.  This notion of making places and spaces beautiful is mostly of time gone by.  Functionality and cost now dictate the look.
Walking on an industrial street in midtown Manhattan I chanced upon such a delightful example of a functional structure that was beautified for the sake of architectural creativity and charm during a time gone by.  I stood among the smokers and the delivery people happily snapping pix of a world that I remember existed on every block.

Delivery Entrance: NYC

Architectural Embellishment of Time Gone By

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

I return again and again to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.  As a native Brooklynite, I am ever intrigued by this oasis in the midst of a busy borough of one of the bustling cities in the world: NYC.  The Gardens look not only beautiful and tranquil each time I go there but new!  Nature regenerates and plants bloom.  The flora/fauna changes form as it grows.  Shapes morph into patterns and designs that architect a natural world.  Although the magnificent buildings at the BBG remain the same, the trees and shrubs, flowers and the birds and butterflies they attract are always unique on any given day.  Shadows, sunlight, clouds and reflections in the glass greenhouses and the pools, ponds and streams cause further artistic changes for my lens to capture. 

Lily Pool: BBG

BBG Architecture: Nature + Human

Art genre: Sepia architectural art photograph/ Black & White architectural art photograph

Photography tip: Combine nature's architecture with humans' architecture.  The shadows and light on buildings from surrounding foliage create intriguing accents and details for more interest.

Location: Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Friday, March 29, 2013

Music Fills the Air

On a recent trip to Manhattan from my Long Island home, I was worried about the snow showers affecting my photo shoot of the exterior of a NYC landmark building.  The train was noisy and a chill damp pervaded the humor of the commuters.  Disembarking at Penn Station, I and my camera bag were pushed and jostled up the stairs to the main corridor where I would exit to the further chaos of the city streets.  All of a sudden I heard the magnificent sounds of a string quartet playing Por Una Cabeza.  Immediately my mood lifted as the unbelievably beautiful and poignant music filled the drab space.  The Hopkins Entertainment Group, four wonderfully talented musicians, played enchanting strings to the delight of weary commuters.  As the music transported me to an aesthetic place, I could only dream of listening to these marvelous musicians play for hours!  The few minutes I took to stand in Penn Station and listen to such beauty stays with me still.  

For more information please visit: 
(800) 721-2312 

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Where does the inspiration to create come from?  Some think that it arrives as a jolt from the blue.  Others believe that some memory will trigger a thread that connects thoughts to an inspiring conclusion.  Yesterday, as I walked through NYC's midtown Manhattan streets, I was inspired by the city's celebration of a springlike day.  The weather, after a long winter, was fine: a bit overcast at times, but warmer and less damp.  People were walking about with no coats.  Gloves, hats and scarves were no where in sight.  Flowers were blooming and the streets were filled with people who were taking time to chat, look in shop windows or buy a snack from a food cart.  The atmosphere was so much more relaxed than the frantic get-in-doors mood of the previous snowy, rainy, cold weeks.  Inspired by the general uplifted mood of the city, I began to photograph the random street sights with no particular focus in mind.  Most often I am concentrating on a particular building, structure or place and seeking inspiration from those sources.  Yesterday, I was inspired by the day!

On Exiting Penn Station: the Empire State Building

One of the Numerous NYC Kiosks

Flowers at Bryant Park

Monday, March 25, 2013

Enchanted Worlds

A strong and very early influence on me and especially on my aesthetic direction was looking through an ornate metal grate, through an air shaft and out onto the small garden of the row house in Brooklyn in which I grew up.  I thought that the garden was enchanted.  Perhaps that is why looking through a camera's lens inspires me.  In seeing places/sights beyond and through we see vistas that may enchant and carry us along towards other worlds.  I do!

Art genre: Sepia architectural photograph

Photography tip: Make sure to include light in the darks.

Location: Prospect Park: Brooklyn, NYC


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Other Side of the River

I travel to NYC about twice a week from Long Island.  Usually I am headed to midtown Manhattan.  I see the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building all the time.  Unlike some people whom I notice, I am not jaded by these iconic structures and always take a moment to look at each.  They are beautiful testaments to the building of NYC into the city it is today: great, solid and beautiful to my eye and the perceptions of many others, as well.  On a recent trip to Greenpoint, Brooklyn I had the opportunity to see these favorite NYC landmarks from a different vantage point: across the East River. They looked as stunning and statuesque as ever.

Art genre: Sepia architectural photograph

Photography tip: Darken the image before converting to sepia to add depth.

Location: Shot from Greenpoint, Brooklyn across the East River towards the Manhattan Skyline

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ansel Adams on My Mind

Who in photography, design, architecture, and life cannot learn from Ansel Adams.  Adams not only followed his personal dreams but revolutionized the way landscape is photographed and how people think of conservation of nature.  Pretty big accomplishments.  Ansel Adams primarily focused on the Western landscape, especially Yosemite Park, although his photos of people, architecture and just about everything else are spectacular.  I've learned a lot from Ansel Adams and he remains a great source of inspiration whether I am photographing landscape, architecture or flowers.  Adams' compositions, juxtaposition of values and form is to be admired and a source of ongoing knowledge.

Wilderness by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Queenstown, NZ by Ellen Fisch

Monday, March 11, 2013

Deborah Bigeleisen at The Englishman

The Englishman Fine Art Presents:

Deborah Bigeleisen

Flowers and Fractals

Opening Reception March 14th 6:30 to 9pm.  The exhibition will continue through March 21st.
The Englishman Fine Art, 1190 3rd St. South, Naples, FL 34102
Deborah Bigeleisen's evocative paintings of natural forms encompass endlessly engaging energy, movement and mystery. Using a single image of a flower as her inspiration, she captures the fleeting effect of natural phenomena and immortalizes the transitory nature of life. Peeling away the layers and magnifying the image to its core, she exposes the depth of her subject's anatomy, its dynamism, its turbulence, and its unpredictability. With her unique vision rooted in Fractals, and a glazing technique inherent in the 17th Century Dutch masters, Deborah's work is both a fresh perspective of and a deep insight into the familiar.

Deborah Bigeleisen
561.689.7748     mobile: 561.351.8755


Energy 5, 36X56,  by Deborah Bigeleisen
Dynamism 5, 40X30, by Deborah Bigeleisen
Tipping Point,  24X30, by Deborah Bigeleisen

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fond Memories: Vienna

During the recent NYC days of rain and snow, I remembered my trip to Vienna.  Essentially, the trip remains in my mind a fantasy of marvelous architecture, magnificent art, beauty and wonder.  I went to Vienna in November a few years ago.  The city is a paradise of sights and delights to please the senses, but the weather was cold and damp.  Snow and rain.  But such minor interferences cannot be taken seriously when there is so much to do and to see in the cultural wonderland that is Wien. Snow flakes frosted fancifully wrought arches and ornamented domes.  Rain misted enormous mullioned windows and huge wooden doors.  When my NY weather sometimes chills me to the bone, in my mind I visit Vienna where weather furthered charm.

Rain Misted Terrace: Vienna

Art genre: Sepia architectural photograph

Photography tip: Counterbalance dark horizontals with verticals/ diagonals

Location: Vienna

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Art Community

Today I received a delightful email from the marvelous Peruvian painter, Gloria Canales.  I met Gloria in person last Friday at my second opening at Jadite Galleries in NYC.  Gloria was opening a month long exhibit of her strikingly beautiful oil paintings.  The Peruvian artist paints wonderful surrealism from her dreams, she told me.  Gloria claimed not to speak English, but we were friends quickly: communicating through our shared language of art. We spoke for hours: not in English or Spanish, but finding just the right form of communication that bridged the language barrier with our mutual passion for art.  I was invited to stay with Gloria in her apartment in Lima and then we would tour Machu Picchu!  Gloria's son Carlos was also at the opening, sharing in his Mother's artistic joy and success.  Lovely people!  New friends speaking a common language!  

Gloria Canales with her painting: Jadite Galleries, NYC

Gloria Canales and I with her painting: Jadite Galleries, NYC

Carlos and I with my photograph: Jadite Galleries, NYC