A Photogram is a photographic image that is very similar to an X-Ray. It is a shadowlike photograph made by placing objects between light-sensitive paper and a light source. The photogram is based on the laws of photo sensitivity. The areas of the paper that receive light when exposed appear dark and the parts that do not receive any light appear lighter. The net result of photogram is a silhouetted image with a fine texture of alternate light and darkness. Though a photogram is a cameraless image, interestingly enough, it still falls under the category of photography. Photograms are one-of-a-kind prints, because once the objects are removed from the enlarger or paper, that particular arrangement is gone.
In the history of photography, photogram holds a position of prestige since they were the first genre of photographs. William Fox Talbot [1800-1877] is regarded as the father of photogram. He created many of these images by the placement of leaves and pieces of objects like lace on photo-sensitive paper and later exposing them to the sun. Another person who shares credit for the evolution of photograms is Anna Atkins. She published a book of cyanotype photograms in 1843. The photogram process became popularized in the artistic community as a result of a post World War I movement in Europe. In 1917, a German named Christian Schad experimented with the technique and called his works Schadographs. In 1921, Man Ray, an American painter living in Paris, saw some of Schadís work and started some of his own experiments, which he called Rayographs. The following year, the Hungarian Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in turn saw a portfolio of 12 Rayographs and produced his own experiments, which he called photograms. Popular for a few years, this movement had passed into photographic history by the 1930ís.