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Photogram
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{{refimprove | date=October 2008}}(File:Man Ray, 1922, Untitled Rayograph.jpg|thumb|right|upright|Man Ray, 1922, Untitled Rayograph, gelatin silver photogram, 23.5 x 17.8 cm)A photogram is a photographic image made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light. The usual result is a negative shadow image that shows variations in tone that depends upon the transparency of the objects used. Areas of the paper that have received no light appear white; those exposed through transparent or semi-transparent objects appear grey.BOOK, Langford, Michael, Basic Photography, Oxford, Focal Press, 1999, 7th, 0-240-51592-7, The technique is sometimes called cameraless photography. It was used by Man Ray in his exploration of rayographs. Other artists who have experimented with the technique include László Moholy-Nagy, Christian Schad (who called them "Schadographs"), Imogen Cunningham and Pablo Picasso.According to Alexandra Matzner in Christian Schad 1895-1982 Retrospectief issued by the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (2009), {{ISBN|978-3-87909-974-0}}, p. 216, Schad was the first artist to use the photogram technique, developed by William Henry Fox Talbot. The photogram was applied by Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy and Chargesheimer after its introduction by Christian Schad, according to the author. However, this is not substantiated through further reference by Matzner. The Dutch catalogue was also issued in German by the Leopold Museum in Vienna (2008). Variations of the technique have also been used for scientific purposes.

History

(File:Lemons photogram.jpg|thumb|upright|A colour photogram of lemons and tomato stems. The background texture is enlarged paper grain.)File:Anna Atkins grass cyanotype.jpg|thumb|upright|One of Anna Atkins's cyanotypecyanotypeSome of the first photographic images made were photograms. William Henry Fox Talbot called these photogenic drawings, which he made by placing leaves and pieces of material onto sensitized paper, then left them outdoors on a sunny day to expose. This produced a dark background with a white silhouette of the object used.BOOK,weblink The Pencil of Nature, William Henry Fox, Talbot, 1844, London, Special Collections Department, Library, University of Glasgow, 21 November 2010, From 1843, Anna Atkins produced a book titled British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in installments; it was the first book to be illustrated with photographs. The images were all photograms of botanical specimens, which she made using Sir John Herschel's cyanotype process, which yields blue images.WEB,weblink Anna Atkins, vam.ac.uk, 21 November 2010, This very rare book can be seen in the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.

Man Ray's rayographs

Photograms were used in the 20th century by a number of photographers, particularly Man Ray, who called them "rayographs". His style capitalised on the stark and unexpected effects of negative imaging, unusual juxtapositions of identifiable objects (such as spoons and pearl necklaces), variations in the exposure time given to different objects within a single image, and moving objects as the sensitive materials were being exposed. Contemporary artists who are widely known for using photograms are Adam Fuss, Susan Derges and Christian Marclay. (File:Fotogramm.jpg|thumb|left|upright|A photogram of a number of photography-related objects.){{clear right}}

Procedure

In a darkroom, or a darkened room, objects are arranged on top a piece of photographic material, usually photographic paper. When the operator is satisfied with the arrangement, the photographic material is exposed with light, usually by switching on an enlarger or other artificial light source. The material is then processed, washed and dried.WEB, Making a photogram - traditional darkroom ideas,weblink 2 January 2012, Peter, Bargh, Magazine Publishing Ltd, ePhotozine.com,

List of notable photographers using photograms

(File:Photogram Principle.svg|thumb|Generation of a photogram: A spatially extended light source (1) illuminates objects (2 and 3) that are placed directly in front of a sheet of photosensitive paper. Depending on the object's distance to the paper their shadows look harder (7) or softer (5). Areas of the paper that are in total shadow (6) stay white; they become grey if the objects are transparent or translucent; areas that are fully exposed to the light (4) are blackened.){{div col|colwidth=30em}} {{div col end}}{{clear}}

See also

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  • Cliche-verre, photographic printing technique using glass plates and light-sensitive paper

References

{{reflist}}{{Photography}}

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