Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Art of Architectural Photography 3-29-2015

Natural architecture is the blueprint for almost all that humans reference either directly or indirectly.  Whether you are contemplating Jackson Pollack's Number 5, van Goght's Starry Night or Mies van der Rhoe's Glass House, more creative ideas germinate from what is seen and experienced than not.  Creatives who take the observed to another plane frequently are building on the natural world or the everyday to derive the ultimate impact.  For example, when Meret Oppenheim covered an ordinary cup, saucer and spoon with fur or Magritte painted formally dressed men "raining" from the sky, the visual surprise of surrealism is magnified because the ordinary has been altered into the imagined.

Of course nature can elevate the familiar to the breathtaking in ways that are singular.  Whether it is a perfect leaf or Victoria Falls, nature architects in extraordinary ways.  From the spectacular to the very common natural sights, we may gain insights into composition, form, line.  Nature is the great instructor.  All we have to do is be open to the view.
Birch Forrest: Black and White Photography

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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Art of Architectural Photography 3-20-2015

Most of us have heroes, role models, and others whose work has influenced us.  I mentioned Atget previously, but I come back to his work over and over again. The body of work that Atget left for us bespeaks of Paris and his feelings for the city so many years ago.  The romance of Paris and the beauty that Atget adds to Parisian streets with his genius of capturing the atmosphere through photography shines in every street scene Aget created. The sepia tones that Atget preferred underscore the enchanting and timeless view of the streets of early 20th century Paris that Atget loved.  Sepia gives the stone and wrought iron edges a softness and allure that is singular.  And to that end, Atget was a master at giving his subjects an artistry that transcends time and place. To me, photography is just that: capturing and adding=creating.  Throughout my journey as a photographer, I have added to the scenes, architecture, product and other subjects that I photograph, capture and make my own in post production.  Atget's guidance has given me much in the way that I approach my photography. Granted, Atget used sepia tones because that WAS photography, along with black and white, in the years he photographed.  I use sepia and black and white because I think it brings out forms, focuses ultimately on subject without the diversion of color and sepia may just replicate some of the magic of the early days of film.

On a street in Potsdam I saw this stately building.  Immediately I was drawn to the architectural details. The timeless grandeur and attention to architecture detail struck me as very majestic.  Later, in post production, I noticed the vivid cloud reflections in the windows.  These contrasted well with the solid stone and metal of the building.  This sepia architectural photograph illustrates my influences and my heroes.  As an architectural photographer, I incorporate the reality of the subject and the sum of my abilities, influences and vision into my photography.     

Sepia architectural photography

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Art of Architectural Photography 3-4-2015

Back again!  After a hiatus caused by this year's NYC winter--nothing like other parts of the country-- but bad enough, a fractured hip and various other snags, I am happy to share anew.

Being laid up is either a serious impediment or a wonderful impetus to be creative.  It really depends on the individual, circumstances and work at hand.  I spent a good deal of time reflecting about my work during the last few weeks and realized that I show few interiors on my web site.  After that epiphany, I started looking through the thousands of photographs I've taken of architecture to see why I had not included many interior shots.  I was no more aware of the answer to that question after seeing the many photographs of interiors I have taken through the years than when I posed the thought.  So I began to work on some.

Interiors are fascinating because they can either mirror the facade of the building or create a completely different dynamic.  Entering an interior is like opening a present for me.  Regardless of the richness or beauty of the outside of the "package," I love looking in. Once I heard that an individual received a gorgeously wrapped package and never opened it.  Not I!  Wrappings and ribbons are immediately torn apart in my effort to disclose the contents of a gift! I think that I am among many who enjoy the element of surprise opening a package brings.  Even if an interior is as predictable as the exterior, there is always something unique about each and every space.

This interior is a bar/lounge in Europe.  The ultra modern hotel is echoed in this room whose atmosphere was suited to clientele, function and its decor.  I departed from my usual black and white and sepia palate to recreate the feeling I experienced when I was in the room: dusky, moody, relaxed and enveloping.

Architectural photography.

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