A photogram is a photograph that is made without the use of a camera You make a photogram by placing objects directly onto a light sensitive material and exposing it all to light…
The result is a negative shadow image that will vary in tone depending on the opacity of the object placed on top.
Henry Fox Talbot, ‘Photogenic drawings’
Anna Atkins, England 1854
Anna Atkins was the first woman photographer.
Her father was a British scientist and friend of Henry Fox Talbot’s and another scientist and photo pioneer, John Herschel.
Atkins became interested in making accurate drawings of plant life, and used photography and the cyanotype process as her tools.
Anna Atkins British Algae: Cyanotype Images First book illustrated with photographs.
Laszlo Maholy Nagy, Austria 1919
Man Ray, New York 1922
Man Ray, ‘Rayograph’
Both Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray brought photograms from the scientific to the realm of art.
They often used 3-dimensional objects to see how they would translate onto a 2-dimensional photo (light) sensitive surface.
They used an artificial light source and sometimes moved the light and the objects around during exposure .
Photogram principle, from Wikipedia Encyclopedia
When creating a photogram, the objects you choose and the way that they react to light, will determine the look of your image. It’s all about translucency… how much light can pass through the object to the paper?
From ‘photograms art and design’ www.photograms.org Les Rudnick
Everyday, ordinary objects, three dimensional Les Rudnick