How To Create Photograms In The Darkroom Or Outside In The Sun

I have been traveling through my portfolio and documenting my work, here’s how to create images similar to this feather. I highly recommend trying alternative photography processes.

Feather Photogram by Pete Ippel
Feather Photogram 4 x 6 inches hand brushed silver gelatin on paper by Pete Ippel

Substrate: I used cold press acid-free watercolor paper
Chemistry: Liquid Light

For the meticulous folk with professional darkroom access

  • Coat the paper with Liquid Light in a dark room using a nylon brush, they’re easier to clean.
  • Let the paper dry completely.
  • Place the object on the paper
  • Expose to a light with appropriate time (check the Liquid Light box for details)
  • Develop using standard developer and fixer baths.

If you’re feeling frisky and want to put some of the process to chance:

  • Coat the paper in the pitch black at home
  • Let it dry
  • Place paper in an opaque bag with the object sitting on the paper and walk outside
  • Pull the paper with the object on top out of the bag and place it in the sun. Count a few seconds, and go develop it according to the instructions on the bottle.

If you get a black piece of paper with no image, shorten the time in the sun 😉

Published by Pete Ippel

Pete Ippel, the son of a dancer and a musician, was born in Oak Park, Illinois and has been surrounded by the arts since birth. He moved to Morris, Illinois in 1989 and started to participate in athletics rather than dance. After high school, Pete attended Cornell University where he received a BA in psychology and a BFA in photo / digital art making. He continued to follow his sporting dreams in the high jump, which culminated in a school record leap of 7 feet 1/2 inch in 2001. In May 2004 he attained an MFA degree in the New Genres department of the San Francisco Art Institute. Presently Pete is a practicing artist whose work is in numerous private collections and has been exhibited in New York, California, and internationally. Mr. Ippel resides in Working Artists Ventura, a sustainable artist community in southern California. In addition, he teaches art, is a web developer, an active blogger, and still high jumps from time to time. As a passionate problem solver and a pragmatic optimist, Pete’s art and his life are full of exciting challenges.

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