Tag Archives: Jerry Uelsmann

CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival – My Art Takes Part

Two of my artworks are featured as part of the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

Two of my works, "Momentary" and "Vision Deliberate" are included in the CLICK! Triangle Photo Festival.

Two of my works, “Momentary” and “Vision Deliberate” are included in the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival.

As stated at its website:

clickThe CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival celebrates the medium of photography and its cultural influence by engaging the (North Carolina) Triangle community with exceptional photo-based works and artists. The month-long festival in October brings together exhibitions and programming while fostering dialogue between photographers and community members, all in hopes of inspiring artistic excellence, supporting professional development and promoting community engagement.

My works are on display in The Frontier building as part of the inaugural showing, “In an Instant: The 2016 Click! Pop up exhibition,” with Chris Ogden as a juror. In following the Frontier’s Twitter and Facebook, I’ve noticed my pieces in the background at other events in the building, most notably the Women In Tech Summit:

The festival includes a full month of photography events, shows, talks, and a keynote lecture by photomontage legend Jerry Uelsmann, my greatest visual art influence, whom I was fortunate enough to meet afterward at the Through This Lens Gallery following his talk at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art:

As one who appreciates and makes surreal photographic art, it’s wonderful to see and be part of a festival with such breadth, especially considering the inclusion of non-traditional photographic techniques like those pioneered by Uelsmann, whose work I revere. It’s also very cool to see my art on display via the magic of social media!

What do you think? Have you ever exhibited your art or creative works as part of a festival? Are there other creative happenings you’re a part of? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Single Image Sundays: Momentary


Two unrelated moments make sense for a moment here. This is made from a photo of a faux stone figurine of a child sleeping, from Pier 1 Imports, in Greensboro, NC (taken with Hipstamatic John S. lens & Rock BW-11 film), along with a photo of a steel pole with peeling paint in the Church Street Parking Deck, in Winston-Salem, NC. I used Photoforge2 to combine the images via layers. The concept was inspired by my favorite photographer, Jerry Uelsmann.

What do you think? Have you ever combined two unrelated photographs for artistic harmony? What are some examples of this that you find inspiring? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Christie’s CEO Justifies Social Media in 5 Seconds

In an interview with Marketplace, The CEO of auction house, Christie’s, Steven Murphy, put forth one of the best justifications for businesses getting on social media there is. It stood out to me for its utter salience and logic. Here is the exchange:

Marketplace: Christie’s on Twitter? I think the world just exploded.

Murphy: Yes. Well, why not? Our customers are on Twitter. We should be too. Our clients are spending 60 percent of each day online with some screen, so we need to be there too.

Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled, 1969

Who says montages aeren’t profitable? Here’s one offered by Christie’s from my all-time favorite artist, Jerry Uelsmann

Simple as that.

On the surface, a company founded in 1766 wouldn’t seem to be the case study for social media, but if that’s where your customers are — well, that’s a pretty good justification.

Christie’s is also on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook, among others. I think these highly visual networks are the perfect showcase for the treasures coming through Christie’s that much of the public may never have the chance to lay eyes upon. Check out their profiles for a look at some highly compelling art.

Going once, going twice….

What do you think? Do you know of other companies making strong use of social that might not “fit the mold” on the surface? Ever purchased anything at auction (besides eBay)? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Learning From The Masters

As a young guitarist, I learned how to play by listening to my favorite songs and figuring out the riffs. As a young graphic designer, I figured out techniques by recreating ads and absorbing the principles of layout. I sought out the occasional tutorial and picked up things along the way, but a large part of what came to be my creative expression has it roots in studying and emulating the work of others.

Comparison of "Untitled 1989" by Jerry Uelsmann and my own study after.

Comparison of “Untitled 1989” by Jerry Uelsmann and my own study after.

That’s the approach I took recently with my growing photomontage fascination. Over the past few years I’ve been making photomontages with my iPhone and image editing apps like Photoforge2 and Dynamic Light. It’s been particularly rewarding when developing pieces along the lines of my favorite artists, one of which is the great Jerry Uelsmann.

So I was looking through one of my printed Uelsmann books for inspiration and came across this image:

Click for a closer look at Uelsmann's work at Faded & Blurred

Untitled, 1989 · ©Jerry Uelsmann

I then decided to make it a weekend project to emulate the image in an attempt to gain experience and get closer to the techniques involved. Of course, apps and and iPhone are no darkroom and enlargers, but some fundamental composition principles carry over, as I discovered in creating my own version:

My take on Uelsmann

My take on Uelsmann. Click to view at full size. Created via iPhone.

This consists of a view of the sky from downtown Winston-Salem, about 14 stories up; a house from Old Salem, (historical area of my city); my own hands, and my flannel-shirt-wearing self at sunset.I had some help on the portrait and hands shots with the CameraSharp app’s timer, along with a tripod.

Four Source Files

My source files for this composition.

I can say that it was at once freeing and challenging to work toward a specific vision, bringing these elements together. I make no claim to total originality here, since the idea is obviously Uelsmann’s, but I’m satisfied with how it turned out. I may yet use the elements in future compositions, and I will probably revisit the challenge again one day of emulating and learning from the masters.

What do you think? Have you ever created art after something or someone that’s inspired you? Do any other examples of this come to mind? Let us hear from you in the comments.

The Met goes Online for the Photo-Sharing Masses

Instagram, meet your ancestors: an exhibit’s digital version bridges the generations of old school photo manipulation and our social media-fueled image sharing obsessions.

There’s an astounding display of pre-computer-era photomontage and photomanipulation now exhibiting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City: Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. It’s got everything from vintage trickery to surrealist expressions, all done before the advent of digital tools like Photoshop. In a beautiful irony, the exhibition is made possible by Adobe, makers of the Photoshop software.

But you don’t have visit NYC to see it…

What’s amazing to me, and what inspired this post, is that there’s an equally astounding digital representation of the works available for your browsing pleasure – more than 200 in all. Online, for free. Which is pretty darned sweet.

Faking It - Manipulated Photography before Photoshop at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's website.

Click this link at the site and enjoy.

An innocuous “Works in the Exhibition” link just above the fold at The Met’s website takes you to an incredible look at what’s inside. I call it incredible not just for the content (which is beyond incredible to me), but because it exists online for our easy perusal and sharing. I’m thrilled not only to see such amazing art here, but also to see The Met’s embracing of the digital community in order to promote the exhibit.

The site features an elegant photo slide show, complete with sharing functionality to Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and other networks. They even offer hi-res jpegs of some of the works for extra-close viewing or downloading via fullscreen mode.

Download select images from the exhibition

There’s an app for that, of course

Perhaps you would prefer to view these works on your iPad? No problem. The free iPad app accompanying the exhibition offers easy browsing of a handful of the included works and an interactive quiz exploring the motivations and techniques.

There's an app for that.The app’s target audience seems to be the kids, and I bet this would make a fascinating case to a young creative mind about the power of photo manipulation as art and the importance of questioning what we see – with the latter becoming ever more important considering the issues raised by digital photo editing and popular notions of beauty.

More than just “fakes”

Long before Instagram or Photoshop, there was darkroom wizardry. What got me interested in the exhibit in the first place was its inclusion of amazing photomontage art from the likes of Jerry Uelsmann (my all-time top inspiration) and Angus McBean:

More than just "Fakes"

Jerry Uelsmann, “Untitled,” 1976.                       Angus McBean, “Christmas Card,” 1949,

In my opinion, the app and companion website add tremendous value to the whole endeavor, allowing people to connect and interact with historically relevant art in ways that are common these days because of experiences like Instagram, Pinterest – and especially Photoshop. Huge props to Adobe for sponsoring this.

Thanks to the Met’s generous actions in the digital realm, I’m even more inclined now to physically visit the museum, see these works in person and probably buy a catalogue in the meantime (and speaking of catalogues, check out these other more than 300 Met Museum catalogues downloadable for free).

Having been a graphic artist for many years, I’ve practically lived in Photoshop as an operating system, and working there is my favorite part of design, more so than typography or arranging layouts.

I’m happy to have signed up for a My Met membership thanks to this excellent digital representation, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what’s to come – something I hadn’t much considered until discovering the online component of this exhibit. Props to The Met for harnessing and embracing the power of the Internet for cultural benefit. Now go visit The Met’s site, metmuseum.org and discover something cool for yourself.

What do you think? Does such open sharing increase or decrease the value of museum offerings? Or is that a non-issue in our world of mobile photography, photo-sharing networks and interconnectedness? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Photography, Technology and Connections in the Name of Art

I find it awesome when the digital and “real” worlds intersect for collective benefit, especially in the name of art.

Two Winston-Salem Arts Institutions

I just had the pleasure of attending a free lecture hosted by SECCA — The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art — about select photographic works of our city’s Arts Council (full disclosure below). Because of technology, a passion for art, and social networking, the experience became amplified. And that sort of thing gives me hope for the world.

Several items from the council’s photography collection were to be on display at a local gallery, and Michael Christiano, Curator of Education at SECCA (check them out on WordPress), gave a crash course in photographic appreciation to start the evening off.

In the span of 20 minutes, he covered many of the greats — Robert Frank, Edward Weston, Jerry Uelsmann (my all-time favorite & inspiration) — along with several others, highlighting how the collection’s works being shared were representative of the media’s progression over time. In a larger sense, this collection and these artists aside, it was a notable reflection on how the technology of photography lets us put form to something intangible like memory.

Think of a photo that ever brought a “wow” from your lips.
Kiss Me Like You Promise Me Heaven in Your Lips

Kiss Me Like You Promise Me Heaven in Your Lips – © Sion Fullana. All Rights Reserved.

Considering such technology didn’t even exist two centuries ago, it’s rather an amazing jump in human communication that we practically take for granted nowadays, what with cameras in our phones and everywhere else.

But it’s that jump in communication having to do with photography that compels this post. Because of my growing interest/obsession with street photography and iPhoneography (thanks to Instagram and appreciating the art of others), I, of course, had to snap the below image with my phone just as the lecture was getting started. The meta-ness of the moment was too great not to indulge:

Meta-techno-photography moment captured. Click for the full conversation.

A photo from my iPhone at a lecture on photography prior to a photography exhibit that I later published via a photo-sharing app. Now you’re reading a blog about it.

Naturally, this immediately went up on Instagram.

The evening progressed; the lecture was great; we perused photos and headed home. Later that night, @lindsyarb — someone I’ve never met except via Instagram — noticed the photo, asking to know more about the event and who hosted. Turns out we’re all in the same city, so I shared SECCA’s details and she signed up for their mailing list.

Instagram Conversation

Did you catch what just happened there?

Through technology, interest in art is shared and fostered — relative to the local community, no less — connections are made, and we actually live through a jump in human communication… not over the centuries, but over wi-fi and social networks in real-time… through a shared appreciation for the creative spirit fostered by photography.

Now that’s art. Or at the very least, I’ve got a little more hope for the world. 🙂

Have you ever made a real-world connection via social media? Is there an Arts Council or equivalent in your city, and do you take part? How have you come to be inspired in an artistic fashion, and do you enjoy sharing that with others? Let us hear from you in the comments.