Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reflexive Essay

Literature has the mysterious power of transforming one into a more analytical and confident reader and writer. At the beginning of my senior year, I considered myself to be a reporter, who reports the fact on the things I see. Now, near the end of the year, I consider myself an analytical writer. Throughout the year, we were asked to analyze and to explicate on whatever pieces of literature we were assigned. At first, everything about the pieces seemed so simple that I felt like there is not much to write about. However, as time pass by, I am able to see more than the images on the picture or the words on the writing. I am able to see beyond what is on the piece of literature.
The most memorable moment was when I have to write an explicative essay for the first time. This was difficult, as I have never done it before. I was assigned to explicate William Carlos Williams’ The Parable of the Blind. He wrote this poem based on Pieter Brueghel’s painting. With the painting and poem, I started my journey on analyzing it. I also attempted to create meaning and relationships between the poem and the painting. In the end, I found a relationship and the purpose and main idea of William Carlos Williams’ poem. Therefore, I wrote about my findings and reported each detail with specific care.
I thought that this was the best analytical piece I’ve done. However, when I received my grade for this assignment, I was shock. I got a low grade and I was disappointed. This is because I was not doing what the assignment asked for. I was supposed to explicate the poem, not analyze it. I asked myself the question: What is the difference between explicating and analyzing? Later, I realize, with the help of fellow students and Mr. Gallagher, the difference between them. When one analyzes, he or she is trying to create meaning out of what they see. And when one explicates, he or she is attempting to tell other people how the artist conveys his idea and main idea. Once I realize their distinction, I am able to write better essays.
This assignment is also interesting because I was asked to choose two pieces of writing, written by fellow students, that I considered the most well written and that are able to explicate the poem really well. I must choose the A’s and the B’s paper. After reading everyone’s writing, I am able to choose two that I believed are the best. The good thing about this is that I was able to gather new ideas about writing from other people and that I could be exposed to various writing techniques and structures.
Another memorable moment is when I wrote a poem that is similar to the Red Shift written by Ted Berrigan. The Red Shift poem is nearly the same as my poem. The only distinction is some of the wordings. I was asked to write a poem by filling in the blanks that were in the Red Shift. Mr. Gallagher created these blanks. I used my creative ideas and simply created a poem based on my experience and thought. It was fun and it sounded nice. It was the only time when I felt proud about writing a poem.
There are other impressive moments in his class. The time we spent in acting out Hamlet is unforgettable. It was fun and entertaining. It helped us in understanding the reading better. Memorizing a twenty-four-lines poem is also a superb memory to me. I will never forget the preparation I had before entering Mr. Gallagher’s classroom at the day of the presentation. However, at the presentation, I did not do well. I stuttered and did not remember the lines, so I walked around the room and created a show-like presentation. This was awkward and was considered funny by fellow students.
I believe that literature can really impact my life. Everything about literature helps me learn and grow and to become who I am today. I take history class because it provides stories of disasters that have occurred in the past due to some mistakes of our ancestor, which will help me in not repeating their mistakes. Similar to the reason in taking history, reading a book, knowing about assorted characters, and understanding the different events can help in making us grow, to take precautions about various activities, and to learn about different writing techniques and skills. This is the basis for me in believing that I have grown plenty during this school year. As a side note, I have never thought about writing a thirteen-page paper. This year, aside from the long research paper and the long research that I did, everything seems inspirational. Writing a three-page paper is no longer a difficult assignment for me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

College Essay

In the past:

Seventeen years ago, on January 22, 1990, my mother gave birth to me. I was born into a low-income family in Hong Kong. I have a mother, a father, and an older brother. I was a happy little girl with a simple mind. Every morning, I walked to school with my brother. We bought our breakfast on our way to school from a vendor on the sidewalk. After school was done, I walked back home with my brother. This was my daily routine. My brother and I were good friends and we took care of each other.
During this time my only concern was my grades in school. My parents were strict about my academic excellence. They wanted me to succeed. By doing so, they believed that our family would advance in life and would be better off and happier. At such a young age, however, I did not understand or know their objective. All I knew was that I must do well in school in order to make them happy and to avoid being hit on the hands with a ruler. Also, by doing well in school, I would be rewarded with little gifts: pencils, erasers, candy, and etcetera.
On May 28, 1998, my family and I were in a plane and we were heading to Logan Airport in Boston. My move from Hong Kong to this new place was not stressful to me at all because I knew that I would be able to make new friends. At that point, everything in my life was perfect. However, this perfect life of mine fell apart one day before we moved to the United States. I do not remember the exact date, but I can still see clearly and vividly in my mind of what happened. It was an incident that changed my entire life and that I will never be able to forget. A woman was lying on my parents’ bed. When I asked my mother about it, and she told me that my father had a mistress. I did not understand what this meant. To me, my mother is a good wife and a responsible mother. Why did my father cheat on her? How could he be so unsatisfied with what he had? This was when my hatred and resentment toward my father sprung.
From that day I kept my eyes on my father; I carefully scrutinized and analyzed his each and every action. I wanted to be sure that my father would not cheat on my mother and hurt her again. In school, I remained the same and continued to try my best to succeed in every subject; I worked very hard. But it’s now clear in my mind that I have something worth fighting for and must be preserved. I wanted to enter a good college, acquire a professional career, be successful, and to ultimately earn a decent living for my mother and my brother. I don’t want anything to threaten my family. As I grew older and gained more life experiences, I could see the precarious position my family was in. My mother is very important to me, and I did not want her to be hurt by my father anymore, but I could only do this by keeping my mother away from my father. But since we depended on my father’s salary to live, we could not leave him until we are able to support ourselves.
As I mature, however, my resentment toward my father diminished. The reason for this was my mother. The most important lesson my mother has taught me is learning how to forgive. She loves my father and that she is used to the life that she is sharing with him. She tells me that she forgave my father a long time ago and that I should forgive him too. Anger is fire that consumes whatever on its path without ever stopping; even if its original fuel had been spent, it would still continue to transfer its destructive rage to other things. I cannot live a happy life with anger and rage always in my heart. I have learned to forgive him and I still love him as much. I learned that real love is not just about sacrifices and sharing joy, but it requires unconditional forgiveness as well. It is blessing to have people who would love me and forgive me for all the mistakes I’ve made and will make. I changed a lot during this time and these changes will make me a more forgiving and understanding person in life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jerry Uelsmann and His Amazing Photographs


Ping Sum Lui
Mr. Ryan Gallagher
English 12 H Period 6
19 May 2008

Jerry Norman Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 11, 1934. He has been a decisive and determining young man. Uelsmann was able to identify his interest in photography during his early years in Cooley High School. After graduating in 1952, he moved to New York. In 1953, he began his study on photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. There, he learned new ideas about photographs. He was strongly influenced by the ideas of his instructors—Minor White and Ralph Hattersley. He realizes that a camera has more than the ability to record images; it also has the “potential of transcending the initial subject matter” (Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement). To him, transforming an image that was seen into something else using a camera is more important than focusing on the details of the image.
After his graduation from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1957, he married Marylinn Kamischke, whom he met in Detroit. Later in the year, he entered Indiana University to study audio-visual communication. There, he began to work as a graduate assistant in the laboratory, but soon decided that it was not the right field for him. In 1958, he transferred to the art department, where he took intensive studies in the art history.
Henry Holmes Smith was his professor. He taught Uelsmann the same thing Uelsmann had learned from Minor White: the idea that photography is a creative medium and that it is not only for recording purpose. In Smith’s class, he had his life-changing moments. He was determined to become proficient technically when Smith reacted unkindly to his claim on being able to make a photograph better than that of Arthur Segal. In 1960, he graduated from Indiana University and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree.
Soon after graduation, he joined the art department at the University of Florida and began his teaching in photography. In 1962, he helped found the Society for Photographic Education. In 1966, he became an associate professor at the University of Florida and was elected to become a director of the Society for Photographic Education.
Later, he built his home, which includes a darkroom. He refers to the darkroom as his “visual research laboratory,” where he refines his technique. In 1971, he spent his time traveling, delivering lectures, and holding workshops under a faculty development grant from the University of Florida. In 1972, he was granted a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1974, he became a graduate research professor at the University of Florida. In the same year, he divorced Marylinn and married Diane Farris in the following year (Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement).
The occurrences in his life are commonly seen in many other people’s lives. However, he manages to become a unique photographer, who has imaginative and innovative ideas about photography that most people do not have during his time. Influenced by the theories of Freudian psychology, Uelsmann sought to reveal the world of the unconscious, or the “true reality” that he believed existed beyond the physical world. He sought to portray the world of dreams by putting together recognizable objects in unrecognizable relationships in his photographs. By using logic to portray the illogical (Spielvogel), he is able to create images that are aesthetically appealing and complex. He believes that his photographs are appealing because they create an automatic response in human that is “pre-verbal” (Legends Online).
Uelsmann’s photograph combines several negatives to create surreal landscapes that interweave seemingly mutually exclusive images in unexpected ways (Modern Book Gallery). His photographs are made up of polarities because he believes that all realization arise from contrast (Surrealism). He hopes that his photograph can bring new perspectives into his observer’s minds. This is the reason his photographs seem to force the observer to consider the photographs’ implication that the opposites can be from the same source (Chris Maher and Larry Berman).
Jerry Uelsmann is a photographer who has “one camera and many enlargers” (A Gallery for Fine Photography). Photography is noted to bring out the facts in real life. However, he takes an extra step and uses his artistic talent and imagination to create a new type of photography (Profotos). He creates photograph without specific thought of the composition before he began (Bunnell). He just combines the different negatives he took to create a piece of art that he feels comfortable with and that can represent him. His ability to create art out of seemingly unrelated images and to connect them in a new and creative way is very inspirational. His fantasized photographs are noted as “beautiful, lulling, and soothing” (Temin).
In 1983, Jerry Uelsmann created his masterpieces with a variety of symbols and images. Most of these masterpieces showed a compressed space that seemed unbelievable in a real life situation, but at the same time, probable. Overall, his photographs looked realistic and logical, but there was always something absurd about them. His photographs were able to attain his goal of persuading his viewers to believe in the unbelievable. By this time in the history of his career, he was creating his photographs without a specific title. He hoped that his viewers were going to find individual meanings from the images they see in the photograph. The purpose of his photographs had such great range that one could prove almost anything with them (Klindt).
In the start of Jerry Uelsmann’s career, he used titles as an attempt to help the viewer in recognizing his own interpretation of the world’s “inherent strangeness.” These titles were often created after he finished with the piece of photograph because he never began making his photographs with a definite concept. His photographs are all “results of his visual discovery” (Uelsmann Yosemite). His distinctive style and inherent craftsmanship were able to effectively help present and express his ideas (Process and Perception).
Two of Jerry Uelsmann’s 1983 photographs captured my attention with noteworthy force. The contrast found in these photographs is also meaningful (Photosynthesis).
The first of these photographs shows the image of a rectangular room. The room appears to be part of a large church. We can only see three sides—the front, and parts of two sidewalls—of this room. The photograph appears to be divided into two different halves. The top half of the photograph shows the room and the bottom half of the photograph shows a huge, rectangular case. The case appears to make up of wood. It has two see-through glasses on the top, from which eight square boxes are neatly organized (four on each side on the case and under each one of the two glasses). The case can be opened from the bottom; the glass top flips up from the bottom end. There are two small handles that are used to raise the glass top. One handle on each side of the wooden case. There are shapes of a sphere on each end of the handle. These boxes are shallow.
On the front wall, there is a small wooden door. The rectangular door is opened. The door is pushed inward towards the church. The door is in a walk-in compartment that is much higher up than the door. There are two sides to the door, and the door is opened from the middle. Each side of the door is divided into two portions. On the top portion, a square is formed, and it wraps around another square. And on the bottom portion, a rectangle is formed, and it wraps around another rectangle. On the bottom portion of the doors there are three concentric circles. These circles are located in the center of the bottom portion of the door.
After carefully looking at the door, I find something strange about it. The doors do not touch the ground. Unlike doors that we used everyday, the doors on the photograph do not extend their lengths to where the floor is. This means that when the doors are closed, there will be a hole underneath the doors.
Also, on the front wall are two huge windows. They located on either sides of the door. Each window is divided into six portions. The portions are lay out to form six rectangular shapes that form the rims of the window. Each of the two windows is “two portions (on the top and bottom) by three portions (on the side) big.” The top and bottom portions have a longer length than those of the middle portions. Each of the portions at the top is divided into four little squares and two near-squares. The middle portion is divided into four rectangles. The bottom portion is divided into six squares. The top of the window is dome shaped. The windows are in walk-in compartments. These windows are larger than the door.
The two other walls that could be seen partially have see-through cabinets of some sort. The cabinet has a see-through glass on the front that shines and reflects when the sunlight. The cabinet is hanging about two-and-one-half feet above the ground. It is divided up into nine equally sized compartments. It is difficult to see what is placed inside the cabinets.
The floor is tiled and the tiles are placed side way so that they looked more like shapes of diamond than shapes of squares. The pattern formed meets up in the center of the photograph. The tiles’ are rough and are not smooth. The color and shades of the tiles seem like the waves in an ocean.
The eight square boxes that are located inside the wooden case hold butterflies inside them. Each box contains a minimum of seven butterflies. While some boxes have nine butterflies, others have a total of fifteen butterflies. The variation may be due to the difference in the size of the butterflies. After carefully looking at the arrangement of the butterflies, I noticed that the boxes on the left hand side of the case all have butterflies in groups of seven and that the boxes on the right hand side of the case have butterflies in groups of various size. The two sets of two boxes in the center are arranged closely together, side by side. The two sets of two boxes on the side are arranged about half an inch apart from the boxes in the center.
Most of these butterflies are not plainly colored; they contain a variety of colors. Some butterflies have polka dots on them, some have stripes, and there are still others, who have both dots and stripes. A nametag is located below each butterfly. The purpose of this is so that we would not get messed up with which is which. This is related to the moments of uncertainty that are found throughout human lives. They are uncertain about the genuineness of the things they see, so they need nametags or items to distinguish them.
The boxes with the seven butterflies have three butterflies lay out on the top of the box, three on the bottom (with a little curvature to fit the seventh butterfly), and one in the center. The boxes with the nine butterflies have three butterflies arranged neatly in the columns of three rows. The box with the fifteen butterflies has a butterfly on each corner of the photograph. Then, five butterflies are lain out on the top, three butterflies in the center, and three on the bottom. All of them are arranged so that there is only a bit of curvature.
In the center of the top portion of the photograph is a dark image of a young boy walking away from the once-living butterflies and the wooden case. The boy appears to be leaving the church. In front of the boy, the door was opened and a shimmering butterflies flies over his head. The boy appears as if he is reaching for that living butterfly. On the left-hand sidewall, there is a tiny dark figure on top of the cabinet. Also, there are shadowy images of cars outside the church that can be seen from the left hand side window.
After carefully looking at the image in the photographs, I noticed many things that I would not have noticed if I just looked at it briefly. The once living butterflies are placed first inside a square box, and then they are placed inside the wooden case. This is interesting because when people die, they are placed into a casket and then into the ground covered up with dirt. It seems as if the butterflies are connected to the people race in someway.
The fact is that the lives of butterflies closely resemble those of the human race. We born as a baby and we walk on our hands and feet. The butterflies born as caterpillars, and they crawl around. Then as we grow older, we start to walk with two feet. When the caterpillars grew up, they turn into larvae. When we grow even older, we are able to run. This is similar to the way butterfly grow up and be able to fly freely in the air.
Also, by placing these butterflies safely into the boxes and cases, it seems as if they are under some kind of protection from some kind of danger. Like young children, their parents try to protect them from bad influence and hoped that they would stay in the house and stand by their side more often. The boy in the photograph is walking away from these butterflies and chases the fluttering butterfly. The color of the images outside of the door appears shadowy; it seems like it is located in a completely different world from the inside of the church. The patterns on the tiles seem like the waves in an ocean.
There are two important ideas behind this. First, we are able to see how young children hope to move away from the influence of their parents and to move away from their protection. This shows how they all want to seek something new by themselves and how they want to fly away freely and to seek their own future.
Secondly, this shows how young children hope to seek truth and reality. Often, adults and teenagers like to fool themselves and believe in something they know is false. We all understand that the way we dress is just to fool some other people into thinking whom we want them to think us as. However, young children are different. They hope to seek the truth. They do not want to wear something to please other people; they do what they do and wear what they wear to please themselves.
Another example is when adults go to museum exhibits to view the remains or fossils of extinct animals or insects. They are not looking at something that still exists, but still, they look at it and admire it. Young children are different; they would rather go to the park to look at worms under some rock. They seek reality and truth, not something dead, but something alive and meaningful at the moment (Process and Perception). To the young children, the unreal world inside the church is “shaky” and that it will fall apart at any time. Unlike the real world, it is “steady.”
There is something strange about the arrangement of the objects in the room. First, the room can be seen more to the left hand side than the right hand side. When the boy chases the butterfly, he moves his left hand and leg first. The left hand side of the boy lights up. It seems as if things in the left hand side are of higher significance than the things in the right hand side. Then, the light that shines through the door hits the right hand side of the room more than it does on the left. This is as if Jerry Uelsmann attempted to balance the things on the left side with those on the right side, although he favors the left side more than the right.
Then, outside the huge windows, there appears to be a fence of some sort. The fence appears as if it is wrapping the church up and it seems that the boy is trapped inside the church and could not leave. Also, there are seven huge looks in the center of each window. It appears as if the windows are locked up and that they could not be opened by any means. An extra image in the photograph that I noticed is the tiled floor. The intersections and crossing of the tiles appear to be the bars in a dungeon.
This shows the difficulty a boy must goes through in order to seek his freedom and the truth of reality. He is trapped and he must find a way to free himself from the hold of the fence. By looking carefully through the window on the left hand side, I am able to identify two cars. If only the boy has the will to move out of the church, it seems that he will be able to get into the car and to “fly” off to where he wants to be and to seek what he wants to seek.
The second and last of these photographs shows the image of a circular room. The room appears to be the entrance to a maze-like place. We can only see half the room. The floor is made up of cement. It has a geometric pattern.
The pattern is formed by five concentric circles. The outermost circle is the rim of the room. The second to the outermost circle is the outline of the different geometric shapes on the floor. The third to the outmost circle is the outline of the shapes also. The second and third circles together create a border or boundary for the various geometric shapes formed. Five curved trapezoids are formed by these circles. In two of the trapezoids, there are shapes of diamonds. In three of the trapezoids, there are shapes of circles. These trapezoids that contain different shapes follow each other consecutively. The circle, the diamond, and the trapezoids are white. They are rimed by a thick, black outline.
Enclosed between the innermost and second to the innermost concentric circles are two different geometric shapes. One of which is a white kite-shaped figure, with the shorter side pointing inward. There are eight of these figures. Then, there are eight, black triangles that pointed outward with their base on the innermost circle. In the center of the innermost circle is a drain with eight holes that shaped like ovals. The innermost circle and second to innermost circle are black. The rest of the circles are black and white, which form a pattern that seems like the waves in an ocean during a storm.
The reason the photograph appears to be a maze to me is that it has five entrances that leads to five different passageways. Two of these entrances are balconies while three of the entrances are open passageways that lead to different places. The floor in each of the balcony is formed by a white rectangle. A white diamond shaped figure is inside this rectangle. The diamond and the rectangle are rimmed by a thick, black border.
The walls are made up of cement and are covered by wood that form square patterns, like a quilt. At the top of the wall, where it intersects the ceiling is a border that is made up of strange figures. The border consists of two circular objects followed by a rectangular object. The circular object shaped like a baseball and the rectangular object shaped like a grill pan. On top of each of the balcony, hanging on the walls, is a sculpture of human-like figures. On the left hand side, the sculpture shows an image of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love. On the right hand side, he sculpture shows an image of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea. On the balcony, there is a railing made up of metal. The railing has a pattern of three concentric circles intertwining with three other concentric circles (Sellers).
In between the entrances, there are small trees planted in pots. The two pots of trees located next to the center entrance are planted in different kinds of pots than the other two pots of trees in the photograph. And, the trees on the left side of the photograph have fewer leaves than the trees on the right side. By comparing the contrast on the left and right side of the photograph, I am able to see the difference in the shading of the photograph. The left side is brighter than the right side. The entrances on the left hand side and the center entrance have a white background while the entrances on the right hand side have a dark background. Also, there are more trees on the right side than on the left side. On the right hand side, there is a tree behind the center entrance. There is another tree behind the entrance at the far right.
A few inches away from the entrance at the center, there stands a man who is naked. There is a circular object a few inches above his head. The object is darker on the bottom and lighter on the top. The object casts a shadow around the naked man. The man is standing on top of a body of water, without sinking in.
The photograph is not divided by any means if I look at it for a short time. However, after looking at it carefully, I see something special. I see something that cannot happen on a regular basis and in an actual photograph. Since the left side is presented as the brighter side, it appears as if it’s where heaven is. And the right and darker side seems to be hell (Process and Perception). Because of this, the left side seems to be more preferable. Yet, the right side has more trees. As a result, the right side appears to be more preferable. This is a contrasting relationship between the left and the right side of the photograph.
The pot of tree that locate next to the entrance on the far right has been moved a tiny bit to the left. I am able to have such an observation because there is a circular mark on the floor next to the pot of tree that seems as if it’s the shape of the bottom of the soiled pot. This shows that lineation of everything toward moving to the left. The nude also shows this. He is facing the left side of the photograph.
Everything or almost everything about this photograph is Greek-like. The sculptures on the wall present the Greek Goddess of Love and the Greek God of the Sea. The sculpture on the left hand sidewall is Aphrodite. It symbolizes peace, romance, warmth, and love. The sculpture on the right hand sidewall is Poseidon. It symbolizes war, trouble, death, and sadness. I know that the figure on the left is Aphrodite because she is naked and she is presented in a shell. This is a usual image of her. The figure on the right is noted to be Poseidon because he has a pitchfork and a tail. This is a usual image of him (Sellers). The frequent and overly common use of geometric shapes is also related to the Greeks. Greek likes to use geometric shapes to decorate their buildings and to include them in various designs. It is interesting to see an American artist to make photographs that are related to another culture, rather than his own.
As a student, Jerry Uelsmann is outstanding. He is able to follow his teacher’s lesson and to use it throughout his photographic career. Minor White has a dictum: “One should photograph objects, not only for what they are, but for what else they are.” Throughout his career, Uelsmann has tried to create photographs that are not common and that do not stand for what they are. There is always something unique, different, and exciting about Uelsmann’s photographs. They are able to “evoke a half-buried emotion.”
Similar to surrealists, his photographs have the surreal quality of making the absurd believable and making the believable absurd throughout all his photographs (Jerry Uelsmann’s Photos Creates a Surreal Reality). It may appear that some of his photographs are commonly seen. However, after careful analysis, one will notice its difference and its uniqueness. Uelsmann’s frequent use of polarities greatly helped him in uniting his idea and to make his audience think about the different ideas or purposes behind the photograph. Uelsmann is successful throughout his career in being able to complete photographs that are unique and distinguished from those of the others due to its surrealist ideals and polarities.

Works Cited

Bunnell, Peter. Jerry N. Uelsmann. New York City: Aperture, Inc., 1970.

It is a book that shows the photograph of Jerry Uelsmann in a portfolio like fashion. In the beginning of the book, a biography is written about Jerry Uelsmann. It includes details of how a photograph should look like, how it should create surprise in the audience, and how it is able to capture the audience’s attention. Also, it includes information on the characteristics in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs and reason for his success in the world of photography.

Chris Maher and Larry Berman. “Jerry Uelsmann Interview.” Berman Graphics. 2007. 27 April. 2008 <>

It is a website in which it provides parts of the interview between Chris Maher, Larry Berman, and Jerry Uelsmann. It also includes a biography on Jerry Uelsmann. It tells the audience about the techniques that Uelsmann used. Also, it tells the audience about the talent and skills that Jerry Uelsmann has and which he employs in his darkroom to promote “the alchemy of the photographic process” without the use of any digital related techniques.

“Dream Theatre.” Modernbook Gallery. 2007. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which a brief description of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs is described. The characteristics of his photographs and Jerry Uelsmann’s skill and belief are widely talked about. It takes into account of Jerry Uelsmann’s artistic vision and his belief in using his skill in the darkroom rather than using a computer or any other digital related product.

Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale Group, 2008.

It is an encyclopedia in which a very detailed description of Jerry Uelsmann’s life was given. It states nearly the occurrences in Jerry Uelsmann’s life by year. It is a great source for a biography on Jerry Uelsmann because it talks about his technique, skills, and background information.

“Jerry N. Uelsmann.” Legends Online. 2008. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which a brief description of Jerry Uelsmann’s techniques is described. It includes several quotes that Jerry has made. Jerry Uelsmann states that he is a huge believer in post-visualization. Post-visualization is related to “the willingness of the photographer to revisualize the final image at any point in the photographic process.” Jerry Uelsmann believes that if someone find something that works for them, they should not change it or give it up.

“Jerry Uelsmann Alternative, Fine Art.” Profotos. 2008. 25 April 2008. <>.

It is a website in which a brief biography is written about Jerry Uelsmann. It talks about the characteristics in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs. It also includes a brief explanation or description of the roles Jerry Uelsmann has on today. Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs have been reproduced and discussed in numerous national and international journals, books, magazines, and newspapers.

“Jerry Uelsmann.” A Gallery for Fine Photography. 2001. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which a short biography on Jerry Uelsmann is written. It tells the audience who Jerry Uelsmann is in general. There are a few specific quotes that are stated by other people about him. He was thought as “a major creative force in fine art photography for nearly four decades [and that] he is the master innovator of the multiple image.”

“Jerry Uelsmann.” HighBeam RESEARCH. 2008. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website or database provided by Malden High School. It provides some biographical information about Jerry Uelsmann and what he is known for. It also tells the audience about the characteristics that are found in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs that cannot be found in other photographer’s. Jerry Uelsmann is best known for his composite images in black and white.

“Jerry Uelsmann 2001.” Artists in Residence. 2006. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which a short biography is provided about Jerry Uelsmann. It talks about Jerry Uelsmann’s skill and techniques. It also talks about the characteristics in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs. Uelsmann has been noted for creating “vivid black and white images that utilitize fantastical and poetic juxtapositions to convey the power and mystery of the human imagination.”

“Jerry Uelsmann: Other Realities.” Zonezero. 1998. 26 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which the techniques and skill of Jerry Uelsmann are widely talked about. It tells the audience of the ideas that Jerry has about the making of his photographs. He believes that “juxtapositions [can] expand the possibilities of the initial subject matter.” His hope is to amaze himself and “the anticipation of discovering new possibilities becomes [his] greatest joy.”

“Jerry Uelsmann’s Photos Creates a Surreal Reality.” HighBeam RESEARCH. 2008. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which the importance or significance of surrealism is discussed. The characteristics of surrealism are talked about and examples of pieces of artwork relating to surrealism are also given. Its “aim was to create strange visual juxtapositions that would confirm the superiority of the dream world inparticular and the subconscious in general.”

Klindt, Steven. Jerry N. Uelsmann. Chicago: Congress Printing, 1980.

This is a book that is written about Jerry Uelsmann and it contains a portfolio of his photographs. It gives a lot of details about Jerry Uelsmann and his photographs. It tells the audience about the roles Jerry holds in the eyes of other photographers. It also tells the audience about his techniques and the characteristics of his photographs. Jerry Uelsmann is a person who cares about every piece of his photographs. He believes that each one of them is “a different picture, all working or reworking an idea or problem [and that] one just came before the other.”

Spielvogel, Jackson. Western Civilization. California: Thomson Learning, Inc., 2003.

This is the textbook for the Advance Placement US History book. It talks about what surrealism is briefly. The characteristics and purpose of this artistic movement are also talked about. The time period when it was first started is also noted.

“Surrealism.” Dictionary. 2008. 28 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which it provides a few sentences long definition for the word—surrealism.

Temin, Christine. “Suspenseful Spaces, Juxtaposed Objects.” Boston Globe. 8 October 1997. 28 April 2008. <>.

It is a website in which information on the characteristics of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs are discussed. Jerry Uelsmann attempts to change “people’s automatic acceptance of a photograph as depicting ‘reality.’” It also talks about the difference between post-visualization and pre-visualization. It is stated that the click of the camera “is just the beginning of a long exploration of materials, techniques, and processes” for Jerry Uelsmann.

Uelsmann, Jerry. Photo Synthesis. Gainesville: Florida UP, 1992.

This book shows photographs that Jerry Uelsmann believes are the strongest work of his career so far. He chooses these photographs based on the two criteria he sets. The first is if they have long-standing appeal. The second one is if they present a record of the expression of his own changing identity. There is also a biography about Jerry Uelsmann.

Uelsmann, Jerry. Process and Perception. Gainesville: Florida UP, 1985.

This is a book written about Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs and techniques. Jerry Uelsmann comments on his own work and tells us about his darkroom experiences. He also tells us the mysterious process in making his photographs. His willingness to share his techniques and skills with other people, unlike the other photographers, is very inspirational.

Uelsmann, Jerry. Uelsmann Yosemite. Gainesville: Florida UP, 1996.

This is a book that is written about Jerry Uelsmann and which includes tons of photographs that he has taken. It shows the portfolio of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs while he was at the Yosemite. It talks about the Yosemite, its history, and its significance. It introduces to the audience how imaginative Uelsmann is as a photographer.

Sellers, Paige. “Poseidon.” Encyclopedia Mythica. 2003. 14 May 2008. <>

It is a website in which it tells us the meaning and significance of Poseidon, the Greek sea god.

Works Consulted

“Jerry Uelsmann Interview.” Portland Art Museum. 2008. 26 April 2008. <>.

This is an interview in which Jerry Uelsmann was being interviewed by an interviewer. Also, there is a short biography on this same page that is written about Jerry Uelsmann’s life. It talks about the technique—post visualization—that Uelsmann employed throughout his photographic career. It also includes a brief description of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs.

“Photography.” Dictionary. 2008. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which it provides a few sentences long definition for the word—photography.

“Uelsmann’s Montages Pioneering.” HighBeam RESEARCH. 2008. 27 April 2008. <>

It is a website in which it tells us the meaning and significance of photomontages. It tells the audience the characteristics of photomontages. It also gives the reason to Uelsmann’s frequent use of it.

University of Louisville. Advertisement. ARTnews November 2007: 109.

This is an advertisement that I find within a magazine during the first day of my research. I found a quote in there that is related to or reminds me of Jerry Uelsmann’s style of photographing. It advertises Frederick Hart’s new book, called “The Complete Works.” The image on this book’s cover page is similar to that of Jerry Uelsmann’s. It is in black and white and it is an image of an aging hand.

A Lesson Before Dying: Book Cover

Monday, April 14, 2008

Jerry Uelsmann: Description of Artwork

This is the last quarter of my senior year. As a final assignment, Mr. Gallagher, my English teacher, wants us to write a fifteen-page research paper. This research paper is based on an artist. As a first step, I was asked to choose an artist who I am interested in and who have artwork that is able to attract my attention the most. Mr. Gallagher has given us a list of artist in which we can choose from. After roaming through the pages and artworks of these artists, I decide to choose the last name on the list—Jerry Uelsmann. He is a photographer who creates unique pieces of artwork. His photographs are motivating and inspiration. Most of his photographs are related to nature in some way. The unrealistic, and yet, real images in his photographs has caught my attention. I am interested in knowing the method he used in order to create such an effect in his photographs. Now, I am onto Step Three, where I must choose one to three pieces of his artwork. I must then try to describe them to the best of my ability and to make my reader see what I am seeing by painting a replica of the image with my own words.
I have only chosen one piece to write about because I can find a lot of information on this single piece. This confirms the declaration that “an image is worth a thousand words.” The piece that I choose does not have a title. It shows the image of a rectangular room that does not have a roof. We can only see three sides—two long and one short—of this room. The readers face the shorter wall. Because there is no roof, the sky can be seen. The sky is overwhelmed with clouds that range from light gray to dark gray. The clouds are puffy. The sky and the room take up a forty-sixty proportions. At about one inch away from the top and one inch way from the left side of the photograph, there is a sun-like object that casts blinding-white light. On the bottom left corner of the photograph, there is a door. The doorway is totally black. On the wall that faces the readers, there is a painting of a couple standing in front of a curtain. In the painting, they appear to stand on a balcony. Also, on that wall, there is a rectangular door. A light is hanging off from the top of this door. It is turned on and the light is white. On the right-hand side wall, there is a fireplace. There is a clock-like image above the mantel. It is circular and it is made up of two concentric circles with a point in the center. The clock is white; the light of the sun-like object has cast its light onto the clock. Near the bottom left hand side of the photograph, there is a table. On the table, there is a stand, which holds several sheets of paper. The paper on the top of the stand is filled with words and pencil marks. The stand and the paper are tilted by approximately sixty degrees Northwest. The table has six legs, three on each side. Two of the legs are connected on each side. There is a long white candle on the table; it is placed into a metal candle holder. On the top of these sheets of paper, there is a little white note. It is rectangular and it is the only object in the whole photograph that is actually white—pure white. And a person-like figure is standing on the white note. The person is a miniature. He is dressed in a black suit. A room-length carpet spreads on the room’s floor. The carpet has abstract patterns on it and it has a white embroidered border with black dots. In the fireplace, there are a few objects. However, since the photograph is in black and white, it is difficult to identify what the objects really are. Four blocks of wooden log are lying on the floor on the right hand side of the fireplace. They lie horizontally against the fireplace. Three of the logs have the same size while one of them is very narrow and flat. The flat and narrow log lies farthest away from the fireplace. On this side of the wall, there is a framed painting of a female character that is hung approximately half a inch above the black cabinet. On top of the cabinet, there is person-like figure dressed in white. She seems to be holding a brown teddy bear.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at this photograph for the first time is the cloudy sky and the sheets of white paper that is on the stand. In real life, there would not be a house that is open sky. However, in Jerry Uelsmann’s unrealistic photograph, there is. The reason the paper caught my attention is that it is white and that there is a note, that is whiter, lying on it. A miniature man dressed in black is standing on the note. This fascinates me and fills me with wonders. Because the photograph is in black and white, it is difficult to identify the identity of an object in the image. Therefore, the colors—black and white—plays a major role in Uelsmann’s photographs. The painting on the wall that faces the reader does not seem to be a painting. The couple seems to be real; they appear as if they are really standing on a balcony in the room. This is the strange part about the painting. A balcony supposed to be facing the outside with the curtains behind them. However, the balcony faces inward instead of outward. This is very interesting for me to research about and to explore. How does Uelsmann manage to do that. After carefully viewing the entire photograph, I find something interesting about it that is also similar in the other photographs that Uelsmann has taken. There are faces of different people in the photographs. In the fireplace, there are two faces—one of a man and one of a woman. The woman’s face is smaller in size compared to the man’s face. The sky is filled with faces—large and small in sizes. On the carpet that is on the floor, there appears to be an image of a lady at every corner. She appears to be wearing a crown. The only face that is actually large enough in size and specific facial expression is the face of a man who lies at the bottom right hand corner of the wall facing the readers. It appears to be sad and angry. It has beard hanging from his chin and he appears to be an elder.

*Note: all the person-like figure has been given a pronoun of she or he because she or he appears to be a female or male, although I had not specify

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Winter Break: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Throughout the book, Mariam experiences changes in her relationships with Jalil, Rasheed, and Laila. Before he age of 15 (or specifically before Nana’s death), Mariam was a cheerful girl who believes that “she was [Jalil’s] little flower” (4). When she was around Jalil, she “did not feel at all like a harami” (5) like Nana said she is. However, after Nana hangs herself, she feels completely different about her parents. She believes that Nana had not been lying about Jalil’s cowardness. She believes that Nana had not been ling about Jalil’s cowardness. She feels that Jalil’s inability to accept her into his house when she comes to his house is a proof of Nana’s accusations. She thinks that she is responsible for Nana’s death, because Nana had tell her that she’ll “just die if she goes” (36) and find Jalil.
With her marriage to Rasheed in Kabul, Mariam is further disgusted at Jalil’s cowardness—his inability to speak up and tell his three wives about Mariam’s distaste for the marriage. In the end, she hates her father (although she still lingers to his image sometimes). The last things ever said by Mariam to Jalil is “Don’t come I won’t see you…I don’t want to hear from you. Ever…It ends here for you and me” (50).
In the beginning, Mariam was glad that she will be sleeping in a different bedroom from Rasheed because of his regularity of “sleeping alone” (55). She thought that she would live a happy life with him. Afterall, he had been gentle to her sometimes before their first making of love. She had feel “prized by his protectiveness…treasured and significant” (74) when he asked her to wear the burka. However, later on, after losing her baby and inability of having a baby, Rasheed had become tough on her. He never talks to her and he makes her work like a maid and beats her whenever he feels like it.
Laila has brought a change into Mariam’s life when she first came into the house. She disliked Laila because she thinks that “Laila steals [her] husband” (202). In the end, she knows that Laila only marries Rasheed for the sake of Aziza, her baby with Tarif. They became friend. This is when Mariam feels love once again. In the end, when she plead guilty of killing Rasheed, she is to be executed in front of a crowd. She “wished for so much in those final moments…and yet it was not regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace” (329). She feels happy that she is to leave the world as “a woman who had loved and been loved back [and that] this was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate beginnings” (329).