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JERRY UELSMANN
[b. 1934] American photographer and educator
The contemporary artist...is not bound to a fully conceived, previsioned end. His mind is kept alert to in-process discovery and a working rapport is established between the artist and his creation. While it may be true, as Nathan Lyons stated, 'The eye and the camera see more than the mind knows,' is it not also conceivable that the mind knows more than the eye and the camera can see? - Jerry Uelsmann

Ultimately, my hope is to amaze myself. The anticipation of discovering new possibilities becomes my greatest joy. - Jerry Uelsmann

I have gradually confused photography and life and as a result of this I believe I am able to work out of myself at an almost precognitive level. - Jerry Uelsmann

The camera is afluid way of encountering that other reality. - Jerry Uelsmann

One of the major changes in attitude that occurred in the world of art as we moved from the nineteenth into the twentieth century was that the twentieth century artist became more involved with personal expression than with celebrating exclusively the values of the society or the church. Along with this change came a broader acceptance of the belief that the artist can invent a reality that is more meaningful than the one that is literally given to the eye. I subscribe enthusiastically to this b - Jerry Uelsmann

Wynn Bullock is a uniquely gifted man whose personal photographic search has produced images that expand not only the possibilities of photography, but of life itself. - Jerry Uelsmann - Modern Photography, May 1970 , Wynn Bullock photography: a way of life. by Wynn Bullock , ISBN: 0871000342
This book is available from Amazon.com
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Did you hear about the old professor who dreamed that he was giving a lecture and woke up to find that he was? - Jerry Uelsmann - USA September 2002

I have gradually confused photography with life. - Jerry Uelsmann

My creative process begins when I get out with the camera and interact with the world. A camera is truly a license to explore. There are no uninteresting things. There are just uninterested people. - Jerry Uelsmann

Well, I do think, particularly the way I work, the better images occur when you’re moving to the fringes of your own understanding. That's where self-doubt and risk taking are likely to occur. It’s when you trust what’s happening at a non-intellectual non-conscious level that you can produce work that later resonates, often in a way that you can’t articulate a response to." - Jerry Uelsmann

And young people who are learning digital skills discover that the real challenge is coming up with an image that resonates, first of all, with your self and hopefully, with an audience. They can learn all these new techniques and think that they’re easier to use, but creating great images isn’t about the tools. - Jerry Uelsmann

Of course, in order to make art, the frustration of not working has to be greater than the frustration of working. - Jerry Uelsmann

Editions made sense when people worked with engravings where the plate wore down as prints were made. An early number of the edition had slightly better quality. But that’s not the case with photography. To me, it’s a false way of creating value. - Jerry Uelsmann

It’s equally hard and labor intensive to create an image on the computer as it is in a darkroom. Believe me. - Jerry Uelsmann

I am drawn to art that challenges one’s sense of reality. - Jerry Uelsmann

I have always felt I photographed the things I loved. - Jerry Uelsmann

Photography is just light remembering itself. - Jerry Uelsmann

My images say far more than I could say in words. I believe in photography as a way of exploring the possibilities of man. I am committed to photography and life... and the gods have been good to me. What can I say? Treat my images kindly, they are my children. - Jerry Uelsmann

The camera is essentially a license to explore. - Jerry Uelsmann

I think of many of my photographs as being obviously symbolic but not symbolically obvious. There isn’t any specific correlation between the symbols in this image and any content that I have in mind. - Jerry Uelsmann

I’m really very concerned with helping to create an attitude of freedom and daring toward the craft of photography. - Jerry Uelsmann

The truth is that one is more frequently blessed with ideas while working. - Jerry Uelsmann

The goal of the artist is not to resolve life’s mysteries, but to deepen them. - Jerry Uelsmann

My visual quest is driven by a desire to create a universe capable of supporting feelings and ideas. - Jerry Uelsmann

..For the photograph is capable of engaging our perceptual and creative consciousness, and can prompt us to relate, reveal, and fantasize. It can question; it can define. It can provide clues; it can provide answers; it can provide mysteries. It can expose our wounds; reveal our joys. - Jerry Uelsmann

My contact sheets become a kind of visual diary of all the things I have seen and experienced with my camera. They contain the seeds from which my images grow. - Jerry Uelsmann

Cannot the mind, when introduced to the possibilities of in-process discovery, stretch the boundaries of the preconceived image? - Jerry Uelsmann

The out-of-focus image is a photographic phenomenon. The negative image is a photographic phenomenon. The multiple exposure is a natural aspect of photography. A lot of these phenomena have been more effectively exploited by people in other media but they belong naturally to photography and in my opinion should be very much a part of every photographer’s vocabulary. - Jerry Uelsmann

The serious photographer today should constantly be seeking new ways of commenting on a world that is newly understood. Constant creativity and innovation are essential to combat visual mediocrity. - Jerry Uelsmann

My desire is to emphasize the importance of the humanistic experiences provided by photography, for our medium is a natural vehicle for the encountering and questioning of life. - Jerry Uelsmann

I should like to encourage more young photographers to get off the streets and back into the darkroom. It is my conviction that the darkroom is capable of being, in the truest sense, a visual research lab: a place for discovery, observation, and meditation. - Jerry Uelsmann

Although I believe my work is basically optimistic, I would like people to view my photographs with an open mind. I am not looking for a specific reaction, but if my images move people or excite them I am satisfied. - Jerry Uelsmann

Each click of the shutter becomes an emotional investment, and a part of the world becomes our visual possession. - Jerry Uelsmann

Sometimes I see myself more or less as an image midwife. I think there are ways in which you sort of create conditions for things to happen. - Jerry Uelsmann

It is interesting to note that much of the experimental photography that we revere today has been done by individuals whose commitment to photography is but one aspect of their commitment to art. - Jerry Uelsmann

I have my own attitudes to work with, my own ritual, my game of involvement. Images create other images. I cannot be asked to be something other than what I am, but I enjoy mind-prodding and mind-stretching. - Jerry Uelsmann

Let us not delude ourselves by the seemingly scientific nature of the darkroom ritual; it has been and always will be a form of alchemy. Our overly precious attitude toward that ritual has tended to conceal from us an innermost world of mystery, enigma, and insight. - Jerry Uelsmann

The infinite choice and openness to experience that photography provides greatly increase the possibility for unique individual response. As a result the medium is capable of calling us to be and grow in whatever richness is in our seed. - Jerry Uelsmann

I am involved with a kind of reality that transcends surface reality. More than physical reality, it is emotional, irrational, intellectual, and psychological. - Jerry Uelsmann

An old Uelsmann negative gathers no moss. - Jerry Uelsmann

The courage to believe we don’t know what we think we know is the first stage of the discovery process. - Jerry Uelsmann

The painter does not begin with a fully-conceived canvas, the sculptor with a fully-conceived piece. They allow for a dialogue to evolve, to develop, and as far as I’m concerned the darkroom is truly capable of being of being a visual research laboratory, a place for discovery, observation and meditation. - Jerry Uelsmann

Let us not be afraid to allow for “post-visualization.” By post-visualization I refer to the willingness on the part of the photographer to revisualize the final image at any point in the entire photographic process. - Jerry Uelsmann

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