Monday, June 30, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 6-30-2014

As always, I am honored and delighted to have one of my articles published in the prestigious photography publication Black Star Rising

I hope you will enjoy reading my latest article: "In Photography, Inspiration is All Around You."

Sepia architectural photography: Germany

Black and White architectural photography: Germany

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 6-29-2014

To many there is nothing so alluring as a roof.  Up high, that soaring feeling increases perceptions of weightlessness and makes so many things seem possible.  The ancients used roof tops to point heavenward as do many houses of worship today.  A roof also tags an architectural style or can act as an ornamental "cap" to a structure.  However, from a practical point of view, open and useable roof tops have become, more than ever, an excellent way to utilize vertical spaces in crowded cities.

Those apartment dwellers who are fortunate enough to have roof access or terraces from their apartments frequently use these outdoor or glass enclosed places for gardens.  Look high up in cities and you can see trees, lush shrubs and vines suspended over busy streets below.  Vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers are often grown in these remarkably innovative roof spaces.  Those who live in areas that abound with yards may not appreciate the wonderful sense of luxury a roof garden affords the city dweller.

Commercial enterprises, such as hotels, restaurants, catering halls and department stores use roof gardens as additional stories in which guests and clients can be served.  Rooftop bars and eateries are marvelous in warm weather and they can be sensational in the crystal clarity of winter if glassed in or hosting cold weather aficionados.  Sunsets on these roofs are spectacular.  The city as a backdrop is a breathtaking sight.  Architects maximize the appeal of rooftop spaces by keeping them simply designed and fully mindful of the view.

     Sunset Rooftop: NYC

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 6-22-2014

Light, the essence of all art, is also a function.  To light is to use a source from which some type of illumination germinates and is directed towards a subject.  Whether the source of light highlights a small area or diffuses to bathe a room in light, one cannot ignore the beauty of the lamp.

Since the beginning of time, the sun brightened the world.  The ancients learned how to control the sunlight because, until fire was discovered, it was the only way to overcome darkness.  Fire was more easily harnessed because it could be used indoors and at night.  Finally, lamps were made and true "lighting" was developed into a source of illumination and also decor.  Lighting fixtures are as elaborate as a room-sized chandelier hung with thousands of crystals and candles, such as the one in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna or as simple as an electric bulb suspended from the ceiling on a wire.  

Any light source attracts me like the proverbial moth to a flame.  When I saw this wrought iron chandelier, I was captivated by its massive design and yet it seemed to hover effortlessly over the grand hallway in which it hangs casting light as well as shadows.  I have always been a keen devotee of Man Ray's photography, which sometimes abstracted the "ordinary" or elevated the "common."  With Man Ray on my shoulder, I looked at the chandelier from various angles.  I thought how elegantly abstracted the shapes created by this light fixture were as I looked straight up into it.  

The black and white photograph may be viewed as an abstract that incorporates grays as diffusions or as a lamp with light and shadow. Or in any way that you like!

Black and white architectural photography: NYC

To learn more about the art of chandeliers visit:

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Monday, June 16, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 6-16-2014

I have felt the romantic allure of trains since I was a small child.  Trains symbolized travel and the unknown adventures that unfold as the tracks and miles are eaten up by the Iron Horse.  I was quite young when I began taking the train around Brooklyn by myself: 7 or 8.  I had to visit the dentist and assorted other "fixers" on my own because my parents worked during the day.  Even more mysterious than the trains themselves where the train platforms.  Mysterious and I might add scary: dark tunnels that held only pinpoints of light and mystifying sounds.  These elevated wooden see-the-street-from-above or black-hole-subway stations were far more frightening surely that the Horror movies I dragged my younger brothers to. 

However, the elation of a train ride was probably all vastly increased by the chilling aspect of my perceived danger at the prospect.  The one constant that enabled the waiting for the trains was the wonderful signage signaling the station and architecture of the platforms.  The elevated consisted of huge metal stanchions that were riveted with large shiny bolts.  Although I was terrified when I sneaked peeks through the wooden slated platform, the elegant patterns of light and shadow fascinated me.  But above all travel experiences for an 8-year-old Brooklynite was descending to the underground and the very real prospect of a deserted station.  On these occasions, I fixated on the subway tiles.  These are magnificently crafted and put together in stunning designs.  Still I am transfixed when I see the old tiles today.  The Deco numbers and letters; the elegant arrangement of parts to form an announcement of place.

NYC has updated and repaired many of the subway stations.  Thankfully, the subway tiles are close replicas of their former selves.  The tiles echo the enchantment of train travel for me and tell of exciting places that are just beyond the turnstile.

NYC Subway Tiles: Black and White Photography

To learn more about NYC subway tiles visit:


Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 6-8-2014

In a way, architecture is the structure of any design.  When designing a work, one is building it based on  the principles of art.  Nature, the master architect, designs nature based on structure and form, essential to any building project.

The genre of still life is composed of objects, frequently including but not necessarily flowers, placed in juxtaposition to each other to form a pleasing arrangement.  This concept also is integral to architecture in the sense that elements must compliment each other and work well together to create a well balanced and appealing building.

At a French restaurant in NYC on a frigid night this past winter, I was delighted with the single bloom on my table.  In photographing the flower, I incorporated part of the crystal candle container for a wisp of romance and to show that it is night.  Nature has structured the petals of the rose into a design that is endlessly intricate and beautiful.  How lovely to study architecture in this way!

 Sepia still life as architectural photography: NYC

To learn more about still life and architecture; nature as architect please visit:


Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 6-1-2014

Architecture can be as simple as a cube.  A box that is functional and will stand the test of time.  On the other hand, architecture may be devised as an elaborately detailed statement by the architect.  Of course, a cube is a statement in itself and the modernists of the Bauhaus certainly presented cubes as a most beautiful design form.  The clean lines appeal to many as a conceptualization of clear and uncluttered space.  Bauhaus architecture greatly appeals to me, but I also love architectural eye candy that more ornate genres of architecture incorporate into design .

Architectural eye candy are the embellishments of glass, stone carvings, brick patterns and the like.  Visually metal architectural jewelry delights me.  The fanciful or bold uses of iron, steel, copper, bronze and even precious metals like gold and silver add an ornamental aspect to interiors and exteriors of buildings that creates another dimension to the architecture. 

In this hallway, the wrought iron railing carries the eye down the stairs yet punctuates the space with a complex and open design.  The repeating curves and swirls of the iron compliment the round and arched window frames.  The many elements of architecture in this sepia architectural photograph are enhanced by the emphasis on lights and darks.

Architectural sepia photograph: NYC

To read more about ornamental railings visit: