What is a photogram?
a photogram is a photographic image made without a camera. you can create one by pacing objects onto a light-sensitive material and then exposing it to light. when doing photograms it can be very trip and error, and so needs to be planned as much as possible. we tested on small pieces of photographic paper we called this test a ‘test step’.
The developing process goes like this when developing light sensitive paper.
- it goes into the developer for 60 seconds this is a chemical which allows the exposed image to appear onto the light sensitive paper.
- it then goes into the stopper for 30 seconds this is to stop the developer as to ensure that the print doesn’t become over developed at all.
- the the fixer for 4 minutes this is to fix the image into place after to stop bath and ended the developer so as to ensure the image will stay in its form for a long time the fixer needs 4 minutes.
- and then finally the water bath for five minutes this is to wash off any excess and harmful chemicals and to stop the chemicals from ruining the prints or causing corrosion of the skin when the prints are handled.
Photograms come out negative when they are developed. as the brighter and more light exposed parts of the image turn black, the usually light parts of the image go white this contrast of shades is negative. we used a method called ‘reversal print’ in order to make the photograms colours switch. when this method was over the colours which were black became white and why before was black became white.
Multiple exposure photograms are exposed to the light as usual but then the objects placed are moved around and re-exposed to the light before the developing process has started. i enjoyed the multiple exposure results the most as they were good to look at. i like that there are white, grey and black shades in just the one photogram as when the objects are moved around the light changes how all the background and colours react.
The process of solarisation is when a photogram is started as usual but only developed half way, the photogram is taken out of the developing solution mid-way and placed back under the light and re-exposed again. the end result of this is usually a white outline or haze around the outline of whatever object that was used to create the photogram.
You take a regular photogram that has been pre-made and place it face down onto a piece of photo-sensitive paper (shiny side up). After this a single sheet of thin glass is placed above the two piece of paper in order to keep them both flat and close together, these are then exposed to the light for however long needed as this varies with complexity of photogram and detail. when this has been exposed it is developed as usual photograms are (developer, fixer, stopper and then finally water bath) but the end result will be the contrasting effect of the first photogram used.
I looked at the work of Ethan Jantzer because he creates photograms to take photography back to how it used to be. he is interested in lots of things including flowers and fish but he pushes the boundaries of the classic photograms as he used liquids such as Gatorade and windex to achieve a colourful photogram.
in total darkness the objects he uses are laid on top of or in front of large sheets of photographic film or papa. once he has a composition in place, he flashes light through coloured liquids like Gatorade and windex. the burst of saturated coloured light creates shadows that are captured on the film or paper.
i love the process Jantzer has used as its a modern take on a classic photography developing method and it has a quirky and unorthodox twist in that he uses gatorade to create a coloured photogram.