Back to Basics: Black & White Photogram

The hand of New Orleans

I am revisiting the basics and foundations of photography this semester by taking a photography course outside of my department. ITP is plenty entertaining usually, but I wanted to play with analog toys like film cameras, as opposed to digital ones (Arduino, cough, cough!) I had taken a film photo class way back when at Xavier, and missed being in a darkroom, so this class is a perfect fit. I felt a little clumsy at the enlarger today, but most everything came back very naturally.

For this first session, we brought in objects to make photograms—pictures without cameras. Essentially, you arrange your objects flat on your sheet of RC paper, and expose it under the enlarger for a few seconds, then develop the photo as you would any other in the darkroom. The space underneath your objects, that is protected from the light comes out white, and the exposed area turns out black. For such a simple process, it produces stunning black and white imagery.

My photogram from today is above, and I used the mold of my hand I made last semester in Materials, and some rosaries and a fleur de lis from New Orleans. More to come soon!

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