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  • Writer's pictureEllen Fisch

The Art of Architectural Photography

There is something so appealing about entering a realm of the future. Of course, the future may be 20 years hence or a moment away. It depends on one's point of reference. Some await the far future. Those who think of life in other galaxies, for example, yearn to connect with beings light years away. In terms of time and distance, these encounters may be centuries from now. It is true that light is a breathtakingly swift element, 300,000 kilometers per second in fact, but as I understand it our space travel/exploration capabilities, while more advanced than let's say those of Galileo's day (maybe), have a ways to go before intergalactic trips become reality. Except in the movies. The point being that there are those individuals whose thoughts indeed dwell in the distant future.

On the other hand there are those who look forward to an art opening or other enjoyable occasion a week or day away. That is also a means of projecting towards the future. Most, I believe, look forward to impending delights or enlightenments, such as getting together with friends or loved ones or participating in favored activities, whether they be next door or on planet X. There is a thrill to anticipating upcoming events. Few people I know gladly anticipate war, plagues or other catastrophes, excepting monumental acts of nature, which can be very appealing even though destructive. Some photographers I know could not wait for Hurricane Sandy in order to turn their lenses on the natural chaos. And check out the NYC Instagram pix of our recent blizzard......many were stockpiling, imbibing and cheerfully tucked in for the storm before the first flake dropped. Future planning!

For me, the future is but a step away. Rarely do I think of events months or years in the future as I did when I was a child. Then I looked forward to summer vacations from school starting around November! However, the future always held and still holds something new and promising for me so I think of time as an elixir not to be taken for granted. I often view doorways and stairs without the instinctual. In other words, I think about going through a portal or descending a staircase in terms of time. I believe my childhood, steeped in stories such as Through the Looking Glass and The Tinderbox, influenced my outlook regarding entering dimensions, even those familiar to me. Staircases are especially marvelous because there are so many levels to experiencing the journey: distance, elevation, relativity, perspective and distortion. Composition and form, light and shadow also come into the odyssey. It may seem peculiar to liken going up/down a flight of steps to a sort of trip or even weighing steps as advances towards the future, but for me as a photographer the mundane for others may be transformed into a vehicle for imaging. When I entered this stairwell in Europe, I was captivated by texture, pattern and grandeur. Each tread became a quest into the future of my photograph.

Black and White Architectural Photography

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