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Atget’s Paris Inspires Photographer Ellen Fisch’s Images of NYC

Friday, December 24, 2021

“The use of sepia tones creates an aesthetic that often gives my photography a quality that goes beyond a snapshop,” says Photographer Ellen Fisch.


Atget Photograhy: Paris Shop Window

In the past number of years, architectural fine art Photographer Ellen Fisch has taken thousands of photographs of architecture in NYC. Fisch was often inspired by the work of Jean-Eugène-Auguste Atget, the Paris Photographer who lived and worked in the City of Lights 100 years ago. Atget’s street scenes of Paris are timeless and artistic in his use of the photographic elements that Ellen Fisch has infused into her own sepia photography.
“The use of sepia tones creates an aesthetic that often gives my photography a quality that goes beyond a snapshot,” says Fisch.


Her monochromatic images are frequently focused on the subject in its surroundings to emphasize the shadows and the highlights. In using sepia, rather than black and white, a softness that is reminiscent of painting is incorporated into Fisch’s photography. 


Ellen Fisch Photography: NYC Shop Window

Throughout her career, Photographer Ellen Fisch researched the photographs of Atget for her architectural photography shoot in Manhattan and elsewhere. Although Jean-Auguste Atget may not have been considered an icon of photography during his lifetime (1857-1927), for most, the name Atget has become synonymous with the gold standard of the art. Atget took thousands of photographs of Paris during his lifetime that are now exhibited, reproduced and written about extensively. For these reasons, Fisch continues to access Atget's masterful techniques for her work.

During his photography career, Atget supported himself by doing commercial photography for various clients mainly in Paris. In the early 1900’s “commercial” work frequently called upon great artistic skill, which Atget employed to create images. The street scenes, shop windows, interiors and gardens that Atget recorded with his photography are interpreted into artworks now recognized as masterpieces of the medium. In her own work, Photographer Ellen Fisch has been using more aesthetic techniques. These methods are motivated by Atget's images and were employed during many shoots and subsequent post-production.

In recently researching the works of Atget, architectural fine art Photographer Ellen Fisch has studied the master’s use of values, composition, form and focus. “I constantly pursue ways to enhance my photographs: to hone my craft,” says Photographer Ellen Fisch. The influence of Atget’s marvelous compositions and stunning focus on subject inspired Fisch to use sepia photography as a medium for her more aesthetically orientated photographs. The use of sepia by Atget at once creates dreaminess and a clarity that draws the viewer into the image. Fisch's leanings towards sepia are connected to these qualities that Atget's photography presents.

Along with many great artists, Atget concentrated on a central theme in each photograph and then composed around the essence of the image to create an environment for his focus. An elaborately set tea table is the center of an antique filled room: the table suffused with light. A carved statue stands in a park amid the winter branches that frame the marble details of the sculpture with stark natural forms. A shop window displaying men’s suits reflects Paris in a double image that incorporates a slice of an entire society in one photograph.


Atget’s photograph especially intrigued Photographer Ellen Fisch who photographed extensively in NYC for the years to record culture and history in her architectural fine art photography. During her career, Fisch has been photographing the NYC shop windows to capture both the window displays and the reflections of NYC architecture and society. “Atget has taught me much through his remarkable photography,” says Fisch. She intends to continue to study the masters such as Atget for inspiration and craft. “Regardless of one’s skill level, there is always something to learn,” says Photographer Ellen Fisch. Sepia photographs are frequently included in Photographer Ellen Fisch’s exhibitions.


Ellen Fisch Photography: NYC Shop Window

Ellen Fisch Photography: NYC Shop Window


About: Ellen Fisch is a New York based architectural, still life, landscape and place, and fine art photographer specializing in black and white and sepia photography that is artistically expressive, historically relevant and timeless.

To view photographs of Atget, including Ellen Fisch’s shop window inspiration visit Google Images: Atget

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