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  • Writer's pictureEllen Fisch

The Art of Architectural Photography: On Creating

It is the passion of every artist to create. Many artists also exist to realize their creations. For others it is the journey. Personally, the journey or the process of creating works of art is the allure of art, its absorption, immersion and gratification for me. I am most satisfied with a work I am creating just before its completion. Not to say that my photographs do not live up to my expectations: often they do. But it is not the end result that keeps me completely engrossed in photography: it is the process of finding the subject; photographing the subject from as many angles as possible; the post production of retouching, composing and "getting it right" that has made and still makes my journey so wonderful. And many times, I am thinking of my next images as I complete the several I am bringing to fruition.

All that said, there are dreams that elude artists as well as those that come to be. A dream that many artists experience is to create something totally unique. An out-of-the-box or completely exclusive work or genre that only pertains to themselves and their art. Many search for this elusive prize. Numerous master artists have never archived this particular accomplishment of creating something, a style unlike any other: all their own. To be sure, artists may never even consider creating a novel approach or technique or result that they deem important or even related to making their art. I, however, have long fantasized about going where no one has gone; perhaps being the first. To that end, I have studied art and in my travels, I have first and foremost relished seeing the art of others in places that define their art, yet are universal. For example, when I traveled to Spain for Sorolla and Sweden for Zorn, I finally could (almost) conceptualize how light is expressed: the brilliantly hot light of the southern Mediterranean and cool, softer light of the North. And my resent trip to India gave me some understanding of Eastern forms and compositions at times little utilized in the West: great, pointed arches; fanciful fretwork and other aesthetic elements.

Attempting to incorporate the new to expand upon my photography has been a marvelous journey in itself. The meshing of my experiences with my own perspective has given me the will to dig deeper and continue to evolve as a photographer. Initially, my love of black and white and sepia architectural photography developed into other areas of photography and subject. And while I continue to explore the new, I cherish my past interactions with my camera and post-production. Thus, my new focus on abstract photography has grown out of many sources. I returned to abstraction, which I (and many others in the art world) studied in college and graduate school in the 1960s and 1970s. Of course then we looked towards the earlier abstracts of say Kandinsky, Miro and even back to cave drawings, which sometimes took on abstracted qualities. Only currently, I come to the genre of abstraction with fresh eyes.

My recently self-published little book of abstracts also contains a secret, for often abstracts have many hidden meanings. The book is a compilation of years of seeking composition, line, texture, form and the other principles of photography and art. It is part of a journey that will be expressed in a number of books. Take a look if you'd like to travel with me.

Folio of abstract photographs created in a whites palette. Each abstract photograph has special associations with imagery, identity and imagination, thus inspiring connections.

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