fauxtogram: Objects Exposed

FAUXTOGRAM is an activity inspired by the photogram process—a form of cameraless photography.

Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) (American, 1890–1976). Rayograph. 1922. Gelatin silver print (photogram), 9 3/8 x 11 3/4" (23.9 x 29.9 cm). Gift of James Thrall Soby. © 2006 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris A photogram is an image made on photographic paper without the aid of a camera. To make photograms, artists place a wide range of objects directly onto photographic paper and expose it to light.

To make the image shown at left, Man Ray exposed the paper to light at least three times. Each time a different set of objects acted as a stencil: a pair of hands, a pair of heads kissing, and two darkroom trays, which seem almost to kiss each other with their corner spouts. With each exposure, the paper darkened where it was not covered.

FAUXTOGRAM allows you to make your own virtual photograms. Experiment by selecting, arranging, layering, and exposing objects to light to make shadowy, mysterious images.

Please note that FAUXTOGRAM does not precisely replicate the exposure of light-sensitive paper. View complete instructions on how to make photograms in a darkroom.

Pictured above:
Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) (American, 1890–1976). Rayograph. 1922. Gelatin silver print (photogram), 9 3/8 x 11 3/4" (23.9 x 29.9 cm). Gift of James Thrall Soby. © 2006 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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