Pictures of New York

Urban Landscape Art

In a photograph that looks as much like a painting, Deborah Julian finds a powerful tugboat gliding in water that seems like syrup, guiding a tanker down the East River toward the Atlantic
In a photograph that looks as much like a painting, Deborah Julian finds a powerful tugboat gliding in water that seems like syrup, guiding a tanker down the East River toward the Atlantic | Source

Fine Art Photography by Deborah Julian

New York City in the Lens

Deborah Julian's collection, Pictures of New York, delivers a distinctive view of the city of eight million faces and many more eyes. Her color-saturated photographs bring the instincts of an artist to topics often overwhelmed with narrative and gritty realism.

Trained in both photography and art history, Julian's creates a blend that turns urban landscapes and street photography more toward visual delights, accenting their composition.

Urban Landscapes and Street Photography

The difference between urban landscape and street photography is never clear but is usually defined by people: with street photography, you usually action or reflection, life on streets, in parks, in buildings, etc., while urban landscape photography is more about the shapes and contours of urban spaces.

Under a general heading of Fine Art Photography, urban landscape and street photography sometimes cross each other's borders, and it can be genuinely difficult to define them as wholly separate.

As a photographer, Deborah Julian takes each a step farther but adds elements that inject enough art that many of her pictures can stand up alone for their beauty and composition. Some are so rich with color, they are mistaken for paintings.

Her 5 a.m. shown below, is a good example. At its most basic, it's an urban landscape, a river view with residential buildings on either side of the East River in New York. In a deep dusk, a ghostly freighter slices the dark water as it turns toward Long Island Sound. In the foreground, figures, including a woman stretching, can be seen in silhouette as they begin to meet the day.

What makes 5 a. m. stand out, though, is the sheer beauty of composition, an intrinsic element that's there, even when the details, the things going on are removed. Beauty is a thing in itself with many things complementing and challenging each other. It's an extra in urban landscapes, a bonus.

What permeates this picture and makes it hard to turn away from is an artistry that takes advantage of the uncertainty between day and night and infuses it with colors.

Another of her pictures of New York, Balloon Girl, is almost found art. A young woman in a light, but fanciful pink dress carries balloons through the summer streets in Soho. Street photographers patrol the urban landscape, cameras ready, looking for pictures that are unique, human and, hopefully, beautiful.

Another artful attempt to blend street photography with urban landscapes, but one that leans more toward the landscape of buildings and bridges is Manhattan Bridge-Empire State Building. Taken on a street in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood, the Brooklyn Bridge's less appreciated neighbor lifts impossibly skyward over the East River. Between it's central supports, at a distance, the Empire State Building secures Manhattan's skyline.

Deborah Julian's colorful artwork is becoming better known. Her gifts for color and light combine with her love of the city to make her Pictures of New York a special treat to appreciate and own.

Urban Landscapes to Remember

Taking a completely different view of Manhattan, Daydreamers brings us an idyllic autumn scene as two girls lose themselves in the reflections of a pond in Central Park.
Taking a completely different view of Manhattan, Daydreamers brings us an idyllic autumn scene as two girls lose themselves in the reflections of a pond in Central Park. | Source
Manhattan Bridge (Empire State Building): From the river front neighborhood in Dumbo, a Brooklyn-centric take on the details of the metropolis.
Manhattan Bridge (Empire State Building): From the river front neighborhood in Dumbo, a Brooklyn-centric take on the details of the metropolis. | Source
On a summer day in Soho, an expression captured on the face of a woman is a comment on her job.
On a summer day in Soho, an expression captured on the face of a woman is a comment on her job. | Source

A Walking Tour of Deborah Julian's Solo Exhibit

What Does Art Do?

At its best, art expands our vies of the world around us. Even when it's abstract, art tries to fire our senses and make them able to see and imagine more.

Only a rare few create really distinctive art, but it's everywhere, even when we don't recognize it as art.

Art is involved in every piece of apparel we buy. It informs the design of our cars, and it becomes a backdrop for our world whenever nature has been reassembled by our imaginations.

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What do you think? 4 comments

David Stone profile image

David Stone 3 years ago from New York City Author

Sandy, thanks as always. Art, as you know, is a tough sell. Your kindness is always appreciated.


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 3 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Always good to read about Deborah Julian. I really like the artwork that you have shown of her's on Zazzle.


David Stone profile image

David Stone 4 years ago from New York City Author

Good to be seen. Thanks, Genna.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I like the way Julian captures varying styles architecture and time juxtaposed against each other, and our busy lives. She has a brilliant, measured eye that loves color and form.

Excellent hub, David, and it is good to see you! :-)

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