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

To learn more about seeing and the Chrysler Building visit:


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.


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

For more about elegant rooftops visit: 

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:

For information about Man Ray visit: