Photogram images are prints without a camera, they work by placing interesting shaped objects with different transparencies over light sensitive paper in the dark room. You then expose the paper with objects placed over it to light for a few seconds (time varies depending on the object), and after soaking them in three different chemicals, washing and drying you are left with a monochrome print, with semi-transparent objects appearing grey.
Above was my first try with a leaf and a strip of film for 3 seconds exposed to light, it is clear to see the print was completely over exposed.
Here is my second try also for 3 seconds but with different objects, although the film strip and feather seem to have the correct exposure, the netting used on the left did not show up due to over exposure, evidence that the amount of exposure really does vary for different object transparencies.
The objects above were exposed for 4 seconds but seem to be under exposed due to lack of detail on the leaf and film strip, the glasses also lack detail but that is due to the object being much more opaque than say the feather or film strip.
Above is a collection of jewellery I used to create quite symmetrical pattern, the objects were all made of metal and therefore opaque resulting in me only having the expose the photogenic paper to 2 and a half seconds of white light. These objects purpose were more to focus on different shapes rather than transparency therefore I am please with the result.
I used the original print to make a reverse negative photogram. I done this by placing the print faced down on a faced up photographic paper, I then exposed them to light for 2 and a half seconds again. Above is the final result, it is clear to see the print is fogged on the sides due to being mistakenly exposed to light and also being off focus.
Photographers/artists that use photograms
Man Ray is a famous photographer who has experimented with photograms, he beautifully explores different transparencies creating very interesting and unique work. Although his work is simple, he exaggerates the significance in the simple things in life and kind of unfolds them so we can see beyond just simple shapes and textures.
Adam Fuss is another artist well known for his extraordinary photogram prints, similar to Man Ray he takes the photogram as if we are below the main subject, this angle makes the viewer feel like we're looking at something quite private and revealing as it is not a position in life we are usually in. Especially in Adam Fuss work we see angles of situations we'd never see them in, making them much more dramatic and eye opening such as the images below.