Over the last two days I have been experimenting with colour photograms. There’s a huge difference between black and white photograms and colour photograms. In the black and white darkroom there are red lights so I can see what I’m doing and the end results are quite controlled and almost exactly what I predicted. With the colour dark room, however, there is no light whatsoever so it’s almost impossible to see exactly what your doing until the paper gets exposed.
This unpredictability creates some beautiful and surprising ‘accidents’ as well as unfortunate mistakes. Wasted paper aside, I really enjoy the suspense and waiting for the paper to come through the colour processor and seeing the image that’ll come out.
I have been using images from my range of colour film negatives. I started off using a couple of pictures from the sunset at Dunstable Downs. These are some of the strongest images in the range. I wanted to use the sunset images to first get to grips with printing the colours perfectly but then I was drawn, as I always am, to distorting and obscuring the image so that the sunset is almost unrecognisable.
I then tried to create a double exposure photograph by layering two different films in the enlarger. It’s difficult to get the perfect colouring when using normal film on a double exposure as it lets half the light through both of the films and the different pieces of film would have different ‘perfect’ colour filters. Luckily my aim is not to get a perfect image but to create something ‘else’.
I’ve also been doing a few experiments with other objects and no film to create interesting photograms, most of the experiments were failures or uninteresting.