I find this discussion about maintaining traditional b&w photo
processes in the art curriculum, despite the overwhelming move to
digital approaches in the field of photography, very interesting. I
especially appreciate Patty's comment about Jerry Uelsmann.
At 5:43 PM -0400 4/10/06, Patricia Knott wrote:
>Last week I gave my students a multiple-exposure print problem a la
>Jerry Uelsmann . They struggle and struggle with this, but I can't
>tell you the sense of reward and pride they feel when they are
>successful. "Masking" is easily accomplished in Photoshop, but
>when they can do it the old fashioned way --- well, they truly
>beam with pride.
A short story:
Jerry retired several years ago from his position as "distinguished
research professor" here at the University of Florida. Many more
years before that, as a graduate student, I studied Jerry's work in
one of my photography classes at Miami University of Ohio. Coming to
UF in 1989, it was a great honor for me to consider Jerry as one of
My reason for mentioning Jerry is that during the year he retired
from UF the photo program here was undergoing a huge transition.
There was the "old guard" represented by Jerry and Evon Streetman,
well known for her work with LIFE magazine, and then there were a few
new faculty in the area who aligned themselves closely with the
emerging digital photo realm.
It's worth noting that while Jerry has experimented off and on over
the years with Photoshop (mainly at Adobe's urging), he still
maintains a huge darkroom in his house/studio with over 20 enlargers
that he uses to produce his unique imagery the "old" way (which some
say was the inspiration for Photoshop in the first place). Also,
some of you may know that Jerry is married to Maggie Taylor, a
well-known photographer in her own right whose work is
Well..back to my story.. . At one of the last faculty meetings that
year, Jerry gave a passionate plea to the art faculty at large to
help to ensure the continuation of chemical photography in the photo
department by selecting someone in the photo faculty search that was
going on that year who worked in silver processes.
Cut to the present day: Although digital photography plays an
important role in our undergraduate and graduate photography programs
today at UF, all of our photo students are well versed in traditional
b&w and color processes.
The Moral of the story (if there is one). . . "don't throw the baby
out with the bath water." Now, there's an image I'm sure Jerry could
have fun with.
an old lurker,
Craig Roland - Associate Professor of Art Education
School of Art and Art History - University of Florida
PO Box 115801, Gainesville Florida USA 32611-5801
Art Ed Office: 352.392.9165 Fax: 352-392-8453
homepage: http://grove.ufl.edu/~rolandc Art Junction:
The Art Teacher's Guide to the Internet http://www.artjunction.org/atgi