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.  

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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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Nature's Architecture

Architecture may be defines as "the act of building."  Nature architects our landscape continuously.  Humans have learned a great deal from nature about architecture and we will persevere in acquiring knowledge of essential building techniques from nature.  And, of course, natural beauty knows no bounds.  We are inspired endlessly by the natural world.  Here is an example of nature's architectural skills shot in West Florida: a natural landscape that provides convenience (rock ledge "steps"), HVAC, view, protection (there is a rock wall to the extreme left (not shown) and great natural beauty.

Florida Fishing: Sarasota, FL

Art genre: Sepia art photograph

Photography tip:  Create interest with big sky shots and gradient tonalities.

Location: Sarasota, FL

Friday, March 1, 2013

Second Opening

My exhibit "Park Slope/ Prospect Park has been extended trough March 9th!  There will be a second opening tonight.

Grand Army Plaza Arch: Brooklyn, NY