Self Portrait by Alfred Gescheidt

Long before Photoshop reigned supreme in the world of photography, before personal computers dominated modern life, Alfred Gescheidt was creating hundreds of wildly inventive new images in his chemical darkroom in Manhattan. His wild imagination and ground-breaking techniques in the darkroom made him a go-to guy on Madison Avenue. He was the real deal, an original Mad Man. More than likely, you’ve seen his imaginative, mind-bending creations, a part of American and European culture, via mass media, and didn’t know they were made by Alfred Gescheidt.

Gescheidt (1926 – 2012), pronounced “geh-SHITE,” was a working professional photographer all his adult life, from his early 20s until he died at age 85. He born and bred and lived almost his entire life in New York City. At the end of the 20th century, he become known as “the father of Photoshop” because he pioneered and popularized photographic montage and image manipulation techniques that the famous Adobe program would simplify for the masses and therefore popularize in the next century.

...You’ve likely seen his photomontages, without knowing they sprang from Alfred Gescheidt’s mind. They’ve appeared over the decades on the covers of hundreds of record albums, books, calendars, posters, greeting cards, postcards, and in magazines and newspapers throughout the U.S. and Europe, including: Collier’s, Cue, Esquire, Ladies’ Home Journal, Life, Look, Mademoiselle, Modern Photography, The National Enquirer, New York, Newsweek, Omni, Oui, Pageant, Parade, People, Popular Photography, Saturday Evening Post, Stern, The National Star, The New York Times, This Week, Time, TV Guide, Woman’s Day, and Women’s Home Companion.

Gescheidt had an eye for both the humor and sublime details in everyday life, making classic documentary “street” photographs in his beloved hometown, New York City, and for original, iconoclastic invention in the darkroom.

“[Alfred Gescheidt is] The Charlie Chaplin of the camera.” – former Life Magazine picture editor John Durniak
[http://madmanalfred.com/who-is-alfred/]
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Media: photography