From 1979 to present there have been many famous photographers, but there are three who really stick out: Jerry Uelsmann, Freeman Patterson, and Annie Slivovitz. These three photographers had very distinct photography and viewed photography as more than pictures but as pigments of emotions and feelings. These photographers are very famous for their pictures and one photographer is known for her help in third world countries.
The first photographer that I would like to mention in my research paper will be Jerry Uelsmann. Uelsmann was born in Detroit on June 11th, 1934. Uelsmann acquired school degrees and actually went on to teach classes. He was an intelligent man, who knew exactly what he wanted to do in his life. When Uelsmann was 23 years old (1957) he received his B.F.A degree at the Rochester Institute of technology. When he was 26 (1960) he received his M.F.A at the Indiana University. In 1960 he received his first job offer to teach photography at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Jerry Uelsmann is also a member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain. Jerry Uelsmann founded The American Society for Photographic Education.
Jerry Uelsmann did mostly double exposures. When working a day in the darkroom Uelsmann would go through 50 sheets of photo paper, trying to find at least one or two prints that he liked. During a year, Uelsmann may produce one hundred and fifty images, and only fifteen of those one hundred and fifty images last through out the year. The fifteen prints that are left are the prints that had meaning to him. Sometimes he would draw sketches of the pictures he would like to develop, just to give him an idea of the kind of image he would like to create in his next photo. Jerry Uelsmann is not known for computer images but on a couple of his photographs he has used his Mac Intosh computer to enhance the prints. One photograph that he has computer enhanced is (“Man Walking on the Desk“). Uelsmann decided to use a computer to alter this print because it amazed him; all the possibilities/creations that are available to him through a computer. The print that he altered with his computer is one of his most famous prints (“Man Walking on the Desk”) which was created in 1976, and then resurrected in the year 2000 to modify he print by scanning it on to his computer and adding a shadow to the man walking on the desk. He didn’t make a really big change to the photo but he could not have added the shadow in the darkroom so his computer gave him that possibility. The image (“Homage to Man Ray”) was completely done on his computer in 1999 and he printed it out on an Iris printer to give a shinny professional finish.
Uelsmann has done over one hundred solo shows in the United States in the past thirty years alone. In the past twenty-five years, Uelsmann has had over ten books devoted to him and his artwork. He has more than 15 museums around the world that display his art work, these include: The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bibliotheque National in Paris, The National Gallery of Canada, and The National Galleries of Scotland. Other museums show casing his artwork are located in Paris, Australia and New York. Some of his work has been reproduced and put into international journals, magazines, books, newspapers and television shows (The Outer Limits) . Some books produced about Jerry Uelsmann and his art are Jerry N. Uelsmann Millerton, and Jerry Uelsmann: Silver Meditations by Dobbs Ferry. Jerry Uelsmann is experienced in his art and has created memorable and unique photos and has displayed them so that the world can see what kind of imagery he can produce.
Freeman Patterson is another interesting photographer currently lives in Shamper’s Bluff, New Brunswick. As a child Freeman grew up on a farm in New Brunswick. This is one of the reasons why he won’t photograph vegetables; he’s seen to many of them and they have boundaries. Freeman has acquired school degrees including a honours degree in philosophy from Acadia University in Wolf Ville, Nova Scotia in 1959; and a Master of Divinity degree from the Columbia University in New York. At Alberta College, Freeman was the dean of religious studies, and in Toronto Patterson, worked at Berkley studio in 1966. In 1984 Freeman co-founded the Namaquland Photographic Works Shops in Africa. Freeman has given many workshops around the world, including countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Israel, and Australia. Since 1973 Freeman has also given many seminars in countries such as Canada, United States, New Zealand, Israel, and Australia. These seminars are about music, art, ecology, and education. Freeman Patterson produces his own books on photography and his artwork. Some books that he has published are “Photography for the Joy of it“, “Shadow Light: A Photographers Life“, “Photographing the World Around You and Portrait of Earth“. The books that he has made are not just to show off his artwork but also to demonstrate and give guidelines to new photographers. Patterson’s work has been in exhibitions, magazines, books and calendars.
Photography is an interest to Patterson because pictures excite him. Patterson feels that he needs to be at ease with his camera in order to take good pictures, without the technicality of rules and formulas made by equipment. He also believes that good images are made carefully and take time, they don’t just happen. Patterson states that “In these images, subject matter is like potters clay - you mould it however you want”#. The pictures he likes best are those pictures where he can discover himself and those pictures that have no rules. Patterson thinks that a good photograph portrays the photographer and the image and for him most of his subjects have a symbolic meaning to him and he feels free to take any approach to the subject to make them a visual statement. Patterson believes that emotions and feelings come out in photography, so if the photographer is happy, they would take pictures of the warm colours from a sunset. He truly believes that photography is an expression of feelings. Many of Patterson’s photographs are plants like trees and wild flowers, which make him feel happy, and they are free and have no limitations. Patterson thinks that photography starts with subjects such as wild flowers, sunrises, children, motorcycle gangs, gothic cathedrals etc…
Freeman Patterson does both coloured and black and white prints. He also ventures into some double exposures. Patterson does a lot of his photographic work at his home in New Brunswick, but does travel to take photos and to teach others about photography. So Freeman Patterson is interactive with many of his admirers due to him giving seminars and producing his own books about photography, all of which also makes his photos unique and organized, with a sense of freedom in his prints.
The next famous photographer is Annie Leibovit’s, who was born in West Port, Connecticut, in 1949. When Annie was 22 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. At the age of 20 Annie was living in Israel and was helping in an archeologically dig near the famous Temple of King Solomon, where she took some photos of. After she received her BFA she continued to study with another photographer by the name of Ralph Gibson. Ralph Gibson taught her a few things about photography and he was an inspiration to the way she took some of her photographs. In Washington D.C Annie owns her own show called “Women”, which is located at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In the past, Leibovitz has taken pictures of famous actresses such as a pregnant pose by Demi Moore and Jerry Hall breast-feeding her child. Annie photographed many people such as a former governor, two Supreme Court justices, an astronaut, a drag racer, and many more. Most of her artwork contains pictures of rock stars, fashion and advertising, and women. One of her most memorable photos is a naked picture of John Lennon and his fully clothed wife Yoko Ono in bed. This picture was taken two hours before John Lennon’s death in 1980. Since the 1980’s, Annie Leibovitz has taken many photographs of people living with Aids and photographs from a study of Sarajevo and its people. Leibovitz took pictures for magazine companies that she worked for such as: “Rolling Stones“, “Vogue”, and “Vanity Fair”. Annie’s Photography career started in 1970 when she gave some samples of her work to the “Rolling Stone” magazine. Later on in the mid 1970’s she became the chief photographer for “Rolling Stone Magazine” as well a concert-tour photographer for “The Rolling Stones”. One of Leibovitz photographic projects was the book “Olympic Portraits”. This was an on going two-year project for her, that showcased athletes practicing for the Olympics. This book was published in 1996. Another project was a book published in 1999 of women’s photographs. Leibovitz artwork consists of using the whole subjects body captured in action (physically). One of the great things that Annie Leibovitz has experienced is that she is the first woman ever, and only the second living photographer to have her work shown in the National Gallery of Smithsonian Institute, in Washington D.C.; which took place in 1991. Annie Leibovitz captures her effects with artificiality, flair and outrageousness, and that is what makes her artwork different from other portrait photographers.
These photographers have lead remarkable lives and have evolved and developed throughout their lives. These changes are shown through their amazing photography work. Jerry Uelsmann, Annie Leibovitz and Freeman Patterson’s unforgettable photos make them all so much different from any other photographers.
Ames, J., Uelsmann Process and Perception, Florida: University Presses Of Florida, 1985.