Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 2-23-2014

Architecture is structure, design, function, form.  It is also texture.  Down the street from this church window are buildings in which windows are smooth: modern buildings where glass meshes seamlessly with stone and metal details are so flush with structural design that they melt into the whole.  Modern design has texture that is often very subtle.  This window exemplifies an older architectural style wherein textures were separate parts of the visual work.  Newer buildings reflect the ever quickening pace of life.  A need for clean lines and no distractions to arrest the passerby with elaborations on a theme.  The older architecture illustrates time spent creating structures that would give the eye pause and architectural details to appreciate for themselves.  Although this window may not be considered ornamental, as in the other more embellished stained glass and richly carved portals this building displays, it provides much texture and detail that, in and of itself, states not only function but an echo of another age.

St. Thomas Church, NYC: 53rd Steet and 5th Avenue

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 2-16-2014

Wonder inspires.

 Ellen Fisch Black and White photograph with color: Innsbruck, Austria

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 2-8-2014

The ability to create feeling or emotion in an image is perhaps what all artists seek to do through their art.  It is an elusive that must be intuitive rather than studied in order to appear effortless and graceful.  It is a carefully crafted aesthetic rather than an automatic or learned exercise that is performed ultimately by rote, such as perspective (which in and of itself not easy, but can be grasped through application and practice).  But to communicate a sensation through a two dimensional artwork is both daunting and difficult.  When it is achieved there is a wonderful sense of satisfaction.
Recently I was influenced by two great forces: the great American artist George Bellows and another powerful force: nature.  Both projected through their art a feeling of the bone chilling cold of winter and the small structure that offers a haven.

George Bellows: "Blue Snow, The Battery." oil painting,1910

Ellen Fisch:"Winter Snow." black and white photograph, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 2-3-2014

One of the principals of fine art that impacts all areas of photography is the use of light and dark: values or tonality.  The values in any visual work create emphasis, interest, mood, movement, rhythm and aesthetic.  Tone in a black and white or sepia photograph is especially critical because of the absence of other distractions, primarily color.  The values in these two ethereal light photographs dramatically change each image.  The photographs are derived from one identical source which I shot in a magnificent Gothic Church.  Every time I see architecture that inspires me, I focus on that which is most representative of the structure for me.  I captured the light, most often my personal reference, in a European Cathedral which has exquisite architecture, stonework, artworks and stained glass windows.  But on entering the building, what caught my attention and imagination was the light which is exactly the feature that the great Gothic architects intended.  The way in which I use the values in the two photographs creates the feeling of light conveyed to the viewer.  The subtle contrasts and the obvious one determine which black and white photograph appeals to the individual.