With a background in fine arts, James Fitzgerald approaches photography the way he would approach a painting. He comes from a family of artists – his father an amateur photographer, and his mother and uncle painters – and went to school for painting at duCret School of Art and The Art Students League in New York. He started off painting landscapes, but also has pieces of musicians and abstract works.
Fitzgerald enjoys and is inspired by various artists and movements. He has a preference for French Impressionism and the softer, romantic look that comes with those style of paintings – which can be seen in works by Degas, for example. He also likes street photography and modern Pictorialism, which could be seen as a cousin to Impressionism, on the photography level, as artists in this style emphasize beauty, tonality, and composition rather than documenting directly what they seen in front of them.
Fitzgerald believes that a good painting or a good photograph should have a story. Rather than showing hyper-realistic details, he believes that what isn’t seen could be more interesting. When it comes to taking photographs, he is interested in atmosphere and the changes in the landscape, such as weather conditions and changes in the view throughout the day and the seasons.
The photographs Fitzgerald shared in the gallery are of scenes of the Delaware Raritan Canal and Watchung Reserve. He made his own customized frames for his photos.