Just heard that Jerry Uelsmann, a photo surrealist and darkroom mastermind, has died. He was 87, so he lived a good long life, but he was a favorite of mine, and a visual inspiration.
Many years ago, I recall Adobe Photoshop’s Facebook posted an image of Uelsmann’s. People are too lazy to read, and so the comments section was flooded with “I could do that in 5 minutes” and “That’s easy” – but little did they know, Jerry was making these altered images in the darkroom… This image was made in 1982, eight years before Photoshop was even a thing. Just to make one print he would set up multiple enlargers in the darkroom, cut up or mask off negatives, then print an image one step at a time, adding to it as he went. With modern eyes we don’t see the time and skill that went into each print… He will be in the history books forever.
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