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

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During the past few days of photographing architecture in NYC, architectural fine art Photographer Ellen Fisch found inspiration by studying the photographs of Jean-Eugène-Auguste Atget, the Paris Photographer who lived and worked in the City of Light 100 years ago.

fine art photography; sepia-toned photography; architectural photography, fine art photography

Atget: Paris Shop Window

The use of sepia tones creates an aesthetic that gives my photography a quality that goes beyond a snapshop.

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In the past few days, architectural fine art Photographer Ellen Fisch took more than 100 photographs of architecture in NYC. Fisch was 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 lately Ellen Fisch has infused into her own recent sepia photography.
“The use of sepia tones creates an aesthetic that gives my newest photography a quality that goes beyond a snapshot,” says Fisch. Her recent monochromatic images are now, more than ever, 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 last week's photography. This is a new direction that Ellen Fisch is moving towards in her most recent work.
Throughout July 2012, Photographer Ellen Fisch researched the photographs of Atget for her early August 2012 architectural photography shoot in Manhattan. 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 accessed Atget's masterful techniques for her newest 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 recent work Photographer Ellen Fisch has been using more aesthetic techniques in her own photography. These methods are motivated by Atget's images and were employed during last week's shoot 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 now more aesthetic photographs. The use of sepia by Atget at once creates dreaminess and a clarity that draws the viewer into the image. Fisch's current 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.
This last Atget photograph especially intrigued Photographer Ellen Fisch who photographed extensively in NYC for the last few days to record culture and history in her architectural fine art photography. During the past week, 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. The new images will be part of a NYC exhibit Photographer Ellen Fisch is planning for December 2012.
About: Ellen Fisch is a New York based architectural fine art photographer specializing in black and white and sepia photography that is artistically expressive, historically relevant and timeless.
To view Ellen Fisch’s photographs visit
To view photographs of Atget, including Ellen Fisch’s shop window inspiration visit or google Atget

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