Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-25-2014

The architecture that nature provides for study has influenced architects and artists from known time during which humans lived.  The caves were determined as dwellings  by their natural structure and form.  When humans began to construct buildings, they looked to nature for inspiration as well as for building materials: wood, stone, minerals.  To be near a water source was always desirable for both the erection of the structure and for convenience in living.  Light, of course was and remains of paramount importance.  Therefore, structures in natural settings frequently involve light and water in their design.

The study of natural formations inspires and elucidates.  Waterfalls emanating from undisturbed natural rock formations are beautiful; additionally, they provide a wealth of understanding in the area of certain critical principles that pertain to construction.  These involve physics, architecture, form, line, design.
"The only things in my life that compatibly exist with this grand universe are the creative works of the human spirit-" Ansel Adams.  Look to nature as the ultimate teacher.

Black and White architectural photography; Lost River Gorge: Woodstock NH

To learn more about nature, architecture and architects visit:

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-18-2014

The tale of the city mouse and the country mouse describes the differences in lifestyle and the contrasts that they bring.  I find a negative aspect of an artist's work can be stagnation.  If an artist is to grow and the work evolve and develop, change of scene can be a great catalyst.  Many artists throughout history traveled to refresh their senses and they incorporated that which they encountered into their art.

Each year I have traveled in the summer.  Sometimes we took mammoth car trips to Alaska, Florida or the Dakotas.  Several trips to Europe were inspirational during past Julys.   Most summers are spent in a tiny inherited cottage in Bethlehem, New Hampshire: the White Mountains.  There, the contrasts for me are enormous from my NYC life.  Visually, nature is at the heart of all that I see in New Hampshire.  Layer upon layer of mountains surround vast vistas.  Trees, shrubbery and flowers abound in a multitude of greens and the full spectrum of floral hues.  The night skies are spectacular.  Black velvet with millions of twinkling stars and memorable moons.

Most of all, I enjoy seeing the clapboard houses that are few and far between in the city.  Victorian houses nestle with Federal homes: accentuating wood construction vs. stone/brick.  There are numerous 18th and 19th Century dwellings in Bethlehem, but again and again I am attracted to the wide, wraparound porched clapboard houses wreathed in vines.  They hold the concept of home for me.

 Sepia architectural photography

To learn more about porches and clapboard architecture visit:,d.aWw 


Friday, July 11, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-11-2014

Some of the happiest memories of my childhood are of going to the local hardware store with my Dad.  My Dad loved to tinker and fix things around the house; it gave him pleasure to work with his hands.  Both of us viewed the hardware store as a treasure trove. My passion for architecture was surely encouraged by seeing all of the findings and supplies arrayed on the shelves in the small, dimly lit shop on bustling 18th Avenue in 1950's Brooklyn.

The hardware store was a long, narrow room; its only light seemed to emanate from a smoke wreathed bulb hanging from a wire above the counter where all the business transactions took place. The small space smelled of tobacco, oil and turpentine.  Jars of shiny brass screws and dull, silvery metal washers that looked like coins were stacked on dusty shelves.  Coils of rubber tubing and rolls of thick brown twine were piled precariously to the ceiling rafters.  Pipe parts with intricate threads and that were embossed with company names intrigued me.  Brooms, yardsticks, paint stirrers and long wooden dowels were in every corner.  The patterns, textures and forms I saw in that store still inspire me to look at architecture for its construction details.  Nails, joins, and other parts of a structure contribute to its appearance as well as its stature.

Recently I visited a plumbing supply house.  This object caught my eye and took me back to my youngest recollections of the hardware store in Brooklyn, NY.  The counter person asked me what I was taking pictures of.  "Something beautiful," I replied.

Black and White Photography

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-6-2014

Seeing is the underlying fundamental of all art.  If one cannot see with the eye, there are ways to "see."  Degas saw by feel when he was blind and still creating art---though as a sculptor, when he lost his sight.  Recognizing the art is important for understanding and appreciating it.  The creator and those experiencing the art must be able to know it by sight or other sense.

Seeing also comes into play when an artist looks for subject matter for a work or body of work.  Of course, subject may be in the mind of the creator, but very few artists do not have a physical frame of reference.  Reference may be a completely unique subject or one that is recreated many times over.  Some choose to portray the same model, tree, house or what have you, again and again, while others search for new inspiration.

I like both.  When I travel, I seek out new experiences and sights.  In NYC, I frequently photograph the same architecture that fascinates and appeals to me when I see it.  The Chrysler Building is unquestionably a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture and an iconic symbol of NYC's skyscraper theme.  Its glamor and beautiful lines have characterized the sophistication and power of the City since the building was constructed in the early 1930's.  I love seeing the Chrysler Building when I am walking along 42nd Street near Grand Central Station.  I am accustomed to looking up at the repeating radiating zig-zags that light up at night and at the gargoyles fiercely protecting them.  Many times over the years I have tried to capture the feelings that I have for the Chrysler Building in original ways.

One day I chanced to see the Chrysler Build through a new window of perspective.  I was on 42nd Street but not at my usual vantage point for the Chrysler.  As I looked from  a side entrance of the New York Public Library, I saw the Chrysler shining through.  Remarkably, it was just after a cloud burst and the sun created a glow on the building.  I was charmed and thrilled to see it this way. Photography may present wonderful opportunities to see old friends in a new and different light.

Black and White architectural photography: Chrysler Building, NYC

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-2-2014

      I am delighted and honored to be hosting a Webinar for incomparable Tiffen, which  provides filters and other film related products for photographers as well as the Dfx Award-Winning Plug-in and Standalone Software for Photo and Movie Editing. 

     Using DFX has broadened my ability to create and produce my architectural photographs and the software has inspired me in my work.  
     I hope you will join me on Wednesday, July 9th - 12:PM Eastern Time.  To register please click on this link for the free seminar and the chance to win a prize:

Wednesday, July 9th - 12:00 PM Eastern 
Architecture Photography: with Ellen Fisch

Remember these webinars are FREE, so space is limited and on a first come-first serve basis. 

Wednesday, July 9th-12PM EDT
Production to Post Series
with Special Guest-
Ellen Fisch
'Shooting Architecture and Finishing it in post.'
Ellen is a draftsman and a specialist in Architectural Photography. Ellen will walk us through the streets of some  historical and interesting cities and deconstruct her process of creating the final image.
One lucky attendee at this webinar will get a free Dfx software license! Sign up now, this webinar has limited spaces.