Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Discovering Photoshop

From: Jerry Uelsmann & Maggie Taylor: This is not photography

Video: Discovering Photoshop

(music playing) And my teacher says, "Take a look at this guy's work. He's doing some amazing stuff in the darkroom." The tree's roots growing out of the building was the very first image that I saw. I was just stunned. How was this possible at all? How did he create that? So, I'm going into the darkroom in 1973 and trying to mimic Jerry Uelsmann.

Discovering Photoshop

(music playing) And my teacher says, "Take a look at this guy's work. He's doing some amazing stuff in the darkroom." The tree's roots growing out of the building was the very first image that I saw. I was just stunned. How was this possible at all? How did he create that? So, I'm going into the darkroom in 1973 and trying to mimic Jerry Uelsmann.

His comfortable space is the darkroom and an analog world. We, at Adobe--I must say, I was involved. I can't believe this. We tried to lure him to the dark side. We took on a project years ago when Photoshop first came out. We took his negatives, his prints, we scanned them in, and we showed him this process. I don't think he ever touched the computer. I think we sort of guided him along. And he sort of nodded and appreciated the fact that we were showing him that there was another way.

Jerry Uelsmann: In the winter of 1996, Adobe called me and asked me if I would create an image for them, using Photoshop, to make a poster. And they sent with this equipment a guy, George Jardine, who was one of their, what they call digital evangelists. He set the whole thing up for us, and then I worked with him, and I had him initially scanning contact sheets to see how images could be built. While this is all going on, it's like me advising the guy who could do all the technical stuff, try to do this, try to do that, and he could do these different things, Maggie was watching all of this.

During the time that this three-day visit happened originally, from the Photoshop guy, George Jardine, who is the evangelist, I sat with him and with Jerry to sort of see what was happening, but I didn't operate the computer. Then when he left, I thought well, okay, so now I'll get out the book and check it all out, and I read all the stuff and figured out the Tool palette wasn't so much to learn because I think it was like version 2 or 2.5, whichever one first had layers in Photoshop.

I immediately loved it and tried to just learn everything I could about it. And the quality I could get with this scanner was great. I was playing with it and having fun with it, and I was trying different objects and different backgrounds and the idea that you could change the sizes of things. Russ: I clearly recall the first phone call I got from Maggie telling me, "Russ, I'm doing some experimenting here. I had some questions.

Excuse me, I've got a goldfish on my scanner flatbed." I get, what? What? Put the goldfish back in the bowl. So, she's experimenting in the early days with flatbed scanners, and she saw the dark side as possibilities. A person in a tintype photograph that I was never able to use before could be lifted out of their background and be used. But I couldn't see still how I could make finished prints.

People were not accepting digital work as much at that time. It wasn't until I started to see a few other artists doing IRIS inkjet prints. It wasn't glossy. It wasn't that slick shiny surface. It was like a whole new world, and I just loved it the minute that I saw that. (music playing) I like sitting at my desk. It's very comfortable.

It's all neat and tidy, and I have everything I need. And I like typing. I can check my email if I want to. I've just got like everything here that I need. In the darkroom, it was not fun for me; I didn't like the chemicals and all that stuff. And you know, you were kind of not able to multitask as much. It was just one thing I was stuck doing in there. When I used to do the collages that I set up in front of the camera, I had to make a decision right then, before I used my 4 x 5 film, about what was going to be in and what was going to be out. With this now in the computer, I can make changes as I go along.

At one point, the girl with the saw had a butterfly, a boat, the watermelon, a pelican, and a beetle. And I decided that I didn't really love all those things, and I had to kind of narrow it down. So, it's like building up and then paring away is kind of my process a lot. One of the things that always amazes me is the detail that I get. Some of the elements are scanned and some of them are just photographed with my little point-and-shoot camera. When I photographed that watermelon, I didn't love the image that I got of it, so the watermelon actually exists as a whole bunch of different layers of the watermelon.

In fact, the original watermelon was kind of lopsided and was a yellow watermelon, not a red one. So, you never know, as you're going along, how something's going to end up, and I like that aspect of working. I don't, you know, I don't start out with an idea and say, I woke up and had a dream of a girl holding a saw and a watermelon and now I will illustrate that. It never works that way for me. I really prefer this kind of more organic and playful way. I just enjoy the fact of interacting with the image.

I like the idea that they have a stage-like presence and partly using the floors that I use. Sometimes using curtains in the background for images kind of gives you the sense that this is a little play that's unfolding. There's a little drama happening here. And in a way, it almost reminds me of when I was a kid and I would play with the dollhouse with toys. You're bringing in different little characters and moving their furniture around and kind of just seeing what happens, until you reach a point where you're happy with it.

(music playing) Evon Streetman: Her work is just, in my opinion, it's layered, it's heavy, it's dark. And I think she has allowed it just to open a box of dreams, and she now feels comfortable to walk through it and to show it without being threatened.

And I think it's just provided her a richness beyond words. Ted Orland: Very few people followed directly in Jerry's path. When Maggie came into it and began working digitally, it looked different. And so she was able to make the art without being typecast as one of his followers.

Keith Davis: She's using a twenty-first century technology to deal, primarily, with photography's first generation. She's re-imagined something bigger and richer and more personal and more symbolically resonant from that source image. Jerry: That ability, with Photoshop and the experimentation she had been doing, the combination of those two created the body of work. Once, I think, she had the sense of that independent spirit, that's been an ongoing thing.

(music playing)

Show transcript

This video is part of

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Jerry Uelsmann & Maggie Taylor: This is not photography.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.