Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-25-2015

There are two types of people: those who reread books, rewatch movies and TV shows and, in general love to peel back layers and layers of surface meaning to find new meanings.  And there are those who see it once and move on.  Nothing wrong with that, but I'm one of the former.  I could watch a movie like Moonstruck or Babette's Feast or Key Largo and so many others over and over again.  The characters in the plays of Ibsen, the poetry of Frost (narrator) and the Agatha Chrystie mysteries (even though I KNOW how it ends!) become dear friends and companions.  That is how I am about art and architecture.  To see a treasured painting or a building about which I am passionate repeatedly lends new meaning to the work.  Every time a see an artwork I love, I view it anew.

The statue of Atlas at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan always surprises and mesmerizes me.  It is perfect in its lines, power, balance and form.  To look at negative space as well as the mighty bronze sculpture, is to see a wondrous encapsulation of the City's complexity and style.  Look through the  delicate and massive globe towards the fragile, elegant and hopeful spires of St. Patrick's Cathedral to realize a stunning composition.

This image is not new for me or many others.  However, each time I see it its aesthetic is breathtaking.

Black and white Architectural Photography
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-19-2015

Interiors are often a reflection of the facade of a building.  In particular, interiors may mirror the style and period of the structure; however, there are instances when an interior can emphasize the exterior of a building by using design elements that are complementary but completely different.  For example, enter a Victorian house and see a Bauhaus interior.  The styles may be very disparate but completely compatible.  It is all in the execution of the designer, craftsman and architect, who work together to produce a cohesive whole.

For the most part, interiors have a far greater influence on inhabitants and visitors than do exteriors.  The exterior is noted, may be studied, but then people usually enter the building for a longer time than they spend outside.  Here, such structures as pyramids, gazebos and the like are excepted.  Homes, offices, warehouses, restaurants and other such places command far more of our attention once we are inside.  To this point, the interior impacts us greatly and in many ways.  There is a psychology related to the environments in which we live, work and spend leisure time.  

In many places there are buildings that, although harmonious with their surroundings, are unique.  One such structure is Alwyn Court in New York City.  The early 20th century French Renaissance building is intricately ornamented and very dissimilar to the surrounding buildings on the street.  It is a standout in any context.  Alwyn Court houses Petrossian, a fine dining restaurant.  Enter Petrossian and experience a stunning decor that reflects Art Deco elements and a sleekness that is totally unexpected from the elaborate building facade.  This exterior/interior encounter is a visual treat that emphasizes architecture, design and craftsmanship at the most sophisticated and finest levels. 

Sepia Interior Design Photography

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Art of Architectural Photography 7-2-2015

Monochromatic images are a way to focus singularly on subject.  Color, while extremely beautiful in its scope and infinite possibilities, may cause the viewer to be distracted from the real intent of the photograph.  Of course, this is a very personal choice: color or monochrome.

Another way to focus on a subject is to abstract it.  Although this may seem contradictory, abstraction often brings out the very essence of a focal point.  In order to abstract, the photographer/artist must understand completely the essence of the thing that is  central to the work.  This knowledge of the subject expands to include form, line, composition to create the abstraction.

This Opera House dome is breathtaking when viewed in person.  Photographs of the ceiling are often visually busy and complicated with distractions.  I chose to abstract the subject while retaining elements of the stunning architectural embellishments.  Sepia monochrome seemed a soft background to make the individual elements pop.

Sepia Architectural Photography

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