Traditional Darkroom Photography Techniques | Photograms

Usually the first assignment in a beginner film photography course is to make a photogram.  Perhaps the simplest way to create a photograph; it’s created by putting objects directly on top of the photo paper under the enlarger and then exposing the image.  Choosing objects that are both opaque and translucent creates the most interesting images.

While surfing the world wide interwebs I came across this photo by Japanese photographer Toshinobu Yano.  This photograph is part of the Modern Photography in Japan exhibit (1915-1940).  I’m not 100% sure this is a photogram, but it sure looks like one.  It is a very effective one at that; the organic subject and composition carries your eye around the photograph.  That’s the thing with photograms; instead of photographing something that already exists, the photographer arranges the objects themselves.  I think photograms can be harder to create than regular photographs for this reason.  I love how in Yano’s image he has the one piece of the plant extended above all the rest, making it more interesting.

ToshinobuYanoModernPhotographyinJapan1915-1940

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