This is the setup. There is always a setup. Every so often I and my fellow photography teachers would be required to go to an inservice introducing us to the wonderful world of Photoshop. I will admit that if I hadn’t been required to go, I wouldn’t have gone. I just was not interested in learning Photoshop. And to make matters worse, this was always done in a Mac lab rather than a PC lab. The final straw was that the person teaching the workshop always started at a level that was way above my basic knowledge of Photoshop. Teacher: “take your lasso tool..” Me: “what is a lasso tool?” It would go on like this for a bit and then I would just disengage and start playing with the buttons to see what they did. It was kind of like hi-tech doodling.
Although a child of the ’60’s, I never tried LSD. As a freshman in high school we watched a film in biology about the evils of drugs. In the film, there was this pretty young lady reaching out to pick a pretty blue rose. But the rose ended up being the flame of a stove’s burner. Pretty young lady had taken LSD. Pretty young lady caught on fire. Pretty young lady…no more. I can’t speak for others, but that film pretty much ended my fleeting curiosity about drugs. But as a child of the ’60’s I was, and still am, enamored of the surreal and psychedelic art and music of the time. So eventually at the inservice, what I ended up doing was fooling about with the tools to see what kind of surreal and psychedelic images I could create with the software. Although the following images are not from that inservice, these are representative of how I loved to play around with the photographs.
Perhaps I should have paid attention, but at the time I wasn’t teaching using Photoshop, I wasn’t planning on retiring anytime soon, and I had no plans on becoming a wedding photographer after I retired. But I have retired and I photograph weddings and other events, so I have done what I have needed to do to get proficient at Lightroom and Photoshop. If I absolutely need to learn something, I apply myself with laser like focus and intensity. Otherwise, just call me Mr. Techno-doodle.
I related the above story as a set up to allow me to introduce the reader to one of my all time favorite photographers, Jerry Uelsmann. Jerry Uelsmann is the master of the photo montage. And he does all his work in the darkroom. There is no Photoshop involved in his work. No lasso tool, no layers. Just multiple enlargers, planning and hard work. His work can be checked out here.
This is a self portrait montage by Jerry Uelsmann
I think it is fantastic the amount of things that can be done to a photograph using sliders and buttons. I just wanted to show people who might not be familiar with Jerry Uelsmann what is possible without the benefits of editing programs.
Blog posting music of the day: After Bathing at Baxter’s by the Jefferson Airplane