A photogram is an image created using photographic materials, such as light-sensitive paper, without the use of a camera.
A photogram is a photographic image created without the use of a camera by directly placing objects onto a light-sensitive material like photographic paper and then exposing it to light.
Typically, the outcome is a negative shadow image that displays varying tones depending on the transparency of the objects used. Areas of the paper that remain unexposed appear white, those exposed for a shorter time or through transparent or semi-transparent objects appear grey, while fully-exposed areas turn black in the final print.
This technique is often referred to as ‘cameraless photography’. It was famously used by artists like Man Ray in his rayographs. Other notable artists who have experimented with this method include László Moholy-Nagy, Christian Schad (who called them ‘Schadographs’), Imogen Cunningham, and Pablo Picasso.
Variations of this technique have also found applications in scientific endeavours, such as shadowgraph studies of transparent media, high-speed Schlieren photography, and even medical X-rays.