16MM FILM WITHOUT A CAMERA – The PhotoGram Technique


The project is an exploration of 16mm film imagery produced without the aid of a camera, by working photographically directly onto the surface of the film. 16mm print stock is a light sensitive material receptive to light and shadow in the same way as stills photographic material.

By exposing the surface to light in a controlled red safelight dark room setting, light and shadow can be put to movement on this surface. Using found materials ranging from foliage, feathers, salt and pepper to pins, pasta, and textured glass, …..shadows are exposed onto the surface of the print stock, which is then hand developed in the darkroom. Any transparent or semi transparent object through which light can be transmitted can be used for the project. This is essentially ‘photogramming’, a technique used since the beginning of photography by artist’s such as Man Ray and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy.

Exposure can take the form of a single ‘flash’ light source from an ordinary darkroom enlarger, or a ‘slit’ exposure from a hand held torch passing over the films surface with the items scattered on the emulsion side of the stock.

Also using the enlargers with images (and items!) in the negative carrier, this can be exposed onto the surface creating a unique textural tapestry that will pass through the gate of a 16mm projector at 24 frames per second. Fabric, texture screens, text, can all be projected onto the surface.

Additionally, found 16mm footage can be contact printed onto the 16mm print stock and incorporated using double exposure with the found objects.

First day

Introduction to moving images, film, contact printing, loading spirals and developing.
Demonstrationof basic contact printing and hand developing test strips in buckets.
Students make own test strips and experiment with developing.

2 weeks access to DNDR darkrooms for students to experiment with their own printing.

Second day

Introduction – making a print from a negative, optical sound, projection.
Troubleshooting the students own work.

Last day - Evening

Projection of a positive print made from the negative film produced by students.
We will make a positive print for projecting from the negatives created by the students.

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Please contact workshops@Double Negative darkroom to express interest or to book a place