(From Wikipedia, the free
Jerry N. Uelsmann (born 11 June 1934) is
an American photographer.
Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is a master printer producing
composite photographs with multiple negatives and extensive darkroom work.
He uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final images.
Similar in technique to Rejlander, Uelsmann is a champion of the idea that
the final image need not be tied to a single negative, but may be composed
of many. Unlike Rejlander, though, he does not seek to create narratives,
but rather allegorical surrealist imagery of the unfathomable. Uelsmann is
able to subsist on grants and teaching salary, rather than commercial
Today, with the advent of digital cameras and Photoshop, photographers are
able to create a work somewhat resembling Uelsmann's in less than a day,
however, at the time Uelsmann was considered to have almost "magical
skill" with his completely analog tools. Uelsmann used the darkroom
frequently, sometimes using three to ten enlargers to produce the expected
effect. Photos are still widely regarded as documentary evidence of
events, and Uelsmann, along with people like Lucas Samaras, was considered
an avant garde shatterer of the popular conception.
Uelsmann holds a B.F.A. degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology
and M.S. and M.F.A. degrees from Indiana University. He began teaching
photography at the University of Florida in 1960. He is now retired from
teaching and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida along with his fifth
wife, Maggie Taylor. Uelsmann has one son, Andrew, who is a graduate
student at the University of Florida.
In 1981, a report by American Photographer ranked Uelsmann as being
amongst the top ten photographers collected in America. His smaller works
presently sell for between $1000 and $2500 at auction.
His photographs can be seen in the opening credits of The Outer Limits
His artwork is also featured in the progressive metal band Dream Theater's
7th studio album Train of Thought (2003).