Photography – A Beginner’s Guide – Photogram 5 – More Experimentation – Mix ‘n Match – An article by Goff James

Experimenting with photograms.

A photogram is a type of contact print, made without the use of a camera or negative.

A photogram is created by placing objects on light sensitive material and then exposing it to light.

For more information about the whole process of creating photograms refer to my article ‘Photograms 3 – Process’ & ‘Photograms 4 – Process -Hands’

As a beginner, don’t be afraid of experimenting with photograms and trying to understand the processes involved. They are great fun.

The following are some further notes and reminders to assist one in the process.

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Don’t be afraid of experimenting with photograms as well as developing ideas from that base point.

Experiment by introducing and reconstructing different elements onto the photographic surface, rephotograph the image and then experiment with them in an editing suite.

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20171020_101727 a INV Grsd Red FBO

One could call them a mix ‘n match of photogram, photomontage and photograph. 

Whatever they may be called the results are great fun to create and experiment with.

The images I have used here are only a small indication of the effects that can be achieved.

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20171020_102123a Abstract FBO
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20171020_103512a FBO B&W
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20171020_101404a B&W FBO
20171020_101404a Blue FBO
20171020_101404a Twirl FBO

If you have a photo editor don’t be afraid to experiment. This is your photography world you can do what you like.

I trust that you find some of these ideas useful within the context of your own photography. Don’t be afraid to experiment and allow different ideas to develop as you go along. Toyed with the use of monochrome and the effect and impact that it might have or not have on narrative creation.

Remember what I referred to in previous articles about taking photos and photograms; the same applies to considering your own and others photos.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

There are no right or wrong answers or ways of doing it. 

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take or consider how to look at or stage a photograph.

Don’t worry about what you might think is right or wrong in talking about or taking photographs.

 Make mistakes. Laugh. Have funJust Enjoy the process.

Happy Photography. 

Photograms Attribution © Goff James, Art Photography Poetry

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Photography – A Beginner’s Guide -An intrduction to “Joiners” & David Hockney – An article by Goff James

Photography can’t lead us to a new way of seeing. It may have other possibilities but only painting can extend the way of seeing.

David Hockney

David Hockney (DH) created images referred to as the “joiners” which occurred accidentally.

DH noticed in the late sixties that photographers were using cameras with wide-angle lenses to take pictures.

DH did not like such photographs because they always came out somewhat distorted.

Whilst working on one painting he took Polaroid shots of the living room and glued them together, not intending for them to be a composition on their own.

Upon looking at the final composition, he realized it created a narrative in its own right.

Joiners came into being.

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David Hockney, Mother, Date and Location Unstated

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David Hockney, My Mother, Bolton Abbey,1982, Location Unstated

The main obstacle for DH was how to overcome the limited perspective of a stationary camera.

A single photograph can only show one point of view, usually for a small period of time.

DH Stated that;

All photographs share the same flaw … Lack of time.

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David Hockney, Don and Christopher, 1982, Location Unstated

DH argues that Cubism helped to topple the single perspective in the hand-arts, but with photography it still exists.

The idea behind Hockney’s grids was to inject multiple reference points into photography, in short to make it cubist-esque.

Cubism is a process of discovery.

Image volume is fragmented into planes which are autonomous and independent. That which is viewed is composed of multiple perspectives. Colour, light and contrast become irrelevant due to the dissolution of the volume. It is the experience of the whole that becomes the critical factor.

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Paul Cezanne, Bibemus Quarry, 1895, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

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Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman, 1937, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

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Georges Braque, Violin and Jug, 1910, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

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Juan Gris, Violin and Glass, 1915, Oil on canvas, Location Unstated

The task for this photomontage exercise was to create a portrait and  experiment with the camera to build an image using many different angled viewpoints.

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In these images I set the ISO at 50, Aperture Value 5,6 and a Time Value of 1/60. This enabled me to hand hold the camera and provided a shallow depth of field.

For any beginner using such vocabulary and statements are a great leap of faith in understanding the basics of photography.

I confess, I still have to refer to my faithful portable paper chart to check.  Initially I built the portrait up in a spiral then abstracted the image even further creating a multi-planed cubist-esque image of the sitter.

Don’t worry about the theory and remembering the vocabulary of photography.

Experiment. Make mistakes. Have fun.

Remember the Auto Mode.

Happy Photography.

Art Photography Poetry

Reference List