A photogram is where objects which are placed onto a piece of photographic paper are then subjected to light.  Areas of the paper where there are no objects turn jet black and areas under the objects remain white after being developed in chemicals.  This technique was founded by Man Ray.

The beauty of this technique is that no sophisticated darkroom equipment is required and so can easily be undertaken in schools.  The main requirements are a completely dark room and light which can be switched off and on.

I have run a number of photograms courses with schools in Berkshire.  Firstly at a primary school where the pupils thought the process was like Harry Potter magic!  Secondly with special needs adults who then added colour through sticky shapes or drawing on their photogram.  Their results formed part of a small exhibition at the Bracknell Arts Centre - South Hill Park.  Thirdly I worked with some A'level art students from a school in Bracknell creating cubist photograms and montages.

The best objects for photograms are buttons, coins, doilies, scissors and other objects which have a strong defined shape to them.  Also hand, feet, and heads.

Examples of photograms can be seen on the scrolling images on the right.  Enjoy!

All images are copyright Jo Andreae.