Ellen Fisch Finalizes New Photography Exhibition

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Photographer Ellen Fisch will exhibit her new architectural art photography in Bethlehem, New Hampshire in August 2013.

Portraying religion through architectural art photography is deeply rewarding.

After many months of preparation, Photographer Ellen Fisch has completed her latest architectural art photography essay on Worship for an exhibit in Bethlehem, New Hampshire in August 2013. A long time summer resident of the New England town, Fisch was inspired to photograph two religious mainstays of the location: the Durrell United Methodist Church and the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation. "Portraying religion through architectural art photography was challenging and deeply rewarding," says Fisch.

As a photographer Ellen Fisch always found living near New York City exciting and stimulating. "There is an energy that is palpable and that translates into marvelous visuals in New York," notes Fisch. "The pace is like no other city I have ever visited, but there is a tradeoff. Often the energy of NYC provides a superficial take on life." She found that with people's rushing around so fast in NYC it is often hard to know who they are and where they are going. Even though Fisch's focus is architecture and not people, the intensity of a location influences her work a great deal. "That is why it is so wonderful to have a place in New Hampshire where the slower pace is the polar opposite of that in NYC." In Bethlehem, Fisch discovered a gentler way of life in the natural setting of the White Mountains. Buildings seem more tranquil as they are situated in a landscape back-dropped by permanent and stunning mountains. The influence of the peaceful lifestyle of Bethlehem recently inspired Fisch to explore ways to depict the town's heritage.

Integral to the town of Bethlehem is Worship. Although not all of the residents are committed to formal religion many people are regular congregants at the several Houses of Worship. Among them are the Durrell United Methodist Church and the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation. "Last summer I conceived of a body of photographs that would embody Worship in Bethlehem. Throughout the year I developed a way to present religion through architectural art photography," says Photographer Ellen Fisch, who last week finalized the black and white and sepia photographic collection enhanced with fine art media.

After shooting 1,000+ photographs of the church and the synagogue over a four month period, Fisch began to cull the shots she thought represented the Houses of Worship and the religious concepts that are associated with the architecture and the religious objects in each place. "It was a challenge to get depth of meaning into the images without presenting the obvious. As I worked on the post-production phase of the project I became aware of so many subtle aspects of each religion." Ellen Fisch cites this example: "In both Houses of Worship the windows play a key role in admitting light to illuminate and emphasize religious symbols. Now I had the chance to create the focus of illumination in my images." She found it a great task to undertake. Additionally, she felt the need to provide images representative of religion, such as the Star of David and the Cross, but in the context of architectural photography. This proved time consuming and instructive to her abilities as a storyteller. "I strove to hit the right notes without creating an ordinary photo of a holy and iconic symbol."

After Ellen Fisch had completed 24 photographs that she thought represented the concept of Worship, she enhanced the photography with her new technique of incorporating pencil, charcoal, pastel and gold leaf to accentuate and add depth to the images. "Another huge challenge: differentiating my work from an already existing and established genre. Carefully I applied the fine art media in small increments so that the photographs represented the profound meanings I had envisioned for each image," says Fisch. She notes that this presented a marvelous project through which to utilize and stretch her skills as a photographer and an artist.

The Houses of Worship architectural art photography essay will be exhibited at the Colonial Theater on Main Street in Bethlehem, NH during the month of August. There will be a reception on August 3rd that will be attended by leaders and congregants of Houses of Worship of the area, especially the Durrell United Methodist Church and the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation, offering an ecumenical union.        

About: Ellen Fisch is a New York based architectural commercial and fine art photographer specializing in black and white and sepia photography that is artistically expressive, historically relevant and timeless. Fisch has recently developed a new photography art form using traditional fine art media to enhance her photography.

To view Ellen Fisch’s photography visit: http://www.ellenfisch.com

To learn more about Ellen Fisch and her continuing exploration of photography and art visit: http://www.ellenfisch.blogspot.com

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