What are Photograms?
When taking pictures by the method of Photograms, the image comes out similar to how a pinhole photograph comes out. Black and white but in incredible detail. It goes through all the same development process as pinhole photography and but uses light from a light box which leaves shapes on the photographic paper which block the light from getting onto it.
How do you produce Photograms?
Photograms are created with a enlarger light box, photographic paper and objects that you want to capture. Firstly, you want to find the correct time to have the light on as it captures you image. For this, you should do a few tester images by setting the timer to different times and seeing how they come out when you develop them.
It is important that you know how to use the enlarger so that you can capture
- Choose your objects to photogram.
- Place them on your photographic paper anywhere you want but do it carefully so you do not scratch the paper.
- Set your timer to up anything up to 10 seconds (you can change this during your practice)
- Once you have developed your practice photograms, you can keep the timer at your chosen time for your official photograms.
- Repeat this until you have as many photograms as you wish.
- Like most darkroom-based photography, photograms have to be developed correctly to get a good image.
- Firstly, you have to put it through the developer. This is usually up to two minutes. As soon as you get a a black background and sharp and bold shape from your objects then this is when you take it out of the developer and straight into the stopper.
- Usually the stopper process is only for a maximum of 30 seconds as it is only to stop the chemicals from the developer from developing any further.
- After the stopper, the photograms should go through the fixer. It should spend a minimum of 5 minutes in the stopper. This would ensure that it would not go pink and still stay white.
- Once you have left the photogram in the fixer bath for 5 minutes or more you can take it out into the light and see how it has turned out.
- Afterwards, you must leave it in the wash bath for a minimum of 20 minutes. This is to ensure that all of the chemicals have been washed away.
- After these 20 minutes, you can put it through the dryer and then you will have your Photograms.
I enjoyed doing Photograms as you could use many different objects and make them seem as crazy and obscure as you wanted. From this, I came out with some really unique Photograms and hope to make more but with complicated and unusual objects.