Photograms

A photogram is a photograph made without a camera. They are made in a darkroom, using light sensitive paper with objects on top of it, which is exposed to light from an enlarger. The result is that shadows of the objects appear on the paper.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy- Fotogramm

Transparent objects are interesting as they add modulations in grey. In my own photograms I was immediately drawn to the suggestion of using film negatives. I arranged them in a grid as I have done in previous drawings. I’m pleased with the results. I really love how evocative this process is of high modernist era art.

Man Ray- Rayograph 1921

This process was used to create some of the first photographs, possibly invented by William Henry Fox Talbot. Man Ray called his photograms Rayographs, and the Weimar artist Christian Schad called them Schadographs. Sadly Gubbinsographs has less of a catchy ring to it.

Christian Schad- Schadograph No. 16

Another brief technical note on developing photographs. First the paper is placed in a bath of developer for 10 seconds faced down, then a further 50 seconds the right way up. Then the paper is dropped from a height into a stop bath for 30 seconds, followed by 5 minutes in a bath of fixer for 5 minutes.

P1070956.JPG

Test strip for a larger photogram. One important aspect of making a photogram is making test strips to work out how much light an object needs. In this case the film strips were exposed for 20 seconds.

p1070957

“Gubbinsogram/New York Photogram 03.11.16”

 

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