The Modern Photogram: A New Way to Play with the Oldest Photographic Technique. | Rob Davidson | Skillshare

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The Modern Photogram: A New Way to Play with the Oldest Photographic Technique.

teacher avatar Rob Davidson, Food Photographer and Videographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (56m)
    • 1. The Modern Photogram: Intro

    • 2. History of the Photogram

    • 3. Your Photogram Project

    • 4. What You'll Need

    • 5. Your Modern Photogram Setup

    • 6. Capturing Your Photograms

    • 7. Editing Your Photograms in Lightroom

    • 8. Making a Cyanotype

    • 9. Editing on your Phone

    • 10. Conclusion

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About This Class

Step back, before digital, before film, before even cameras were invented.  Various experimenters discovered that you could place objects on sensitized paper, expose it to light and capture the “shadow” of the object, preserving it for all time.  These camera-less images named Photograms (literally light drawings) captured details and compositions in a totally new and astounding way.


Now learn how to create beautiful Photograms in a new and modern way using your digital camera or phone. (without getting your fingers stained with chemicals!)

In this class we’ll learn a simple set-up you can make at home to create and capture photograms, or shadow images.  You’ll use a few inexpensive items you can get at the hardware store and art supply store, along with some things from around the house, and very quickly you’ll be making unique and beautiful images of household objects, items from nature, anything you can imagine!

This class is for anyone who wants to play with light, shadows and composition.  No prior knowledge is required… just a willingness to play and explore!

You’ll learn a completely unique way to create beautiful images of everyday objects.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Rob Davidson

Food Photographer and Videographer


Shooting great photographs for over thirty years, and still loving it!

Passion for food, beautiful objects and people enrich my commercial work and personal projects. Clients say that I can make beautiful photographs out of even the most prosaic subjects (it’s all in the light….)

Recently, my wife Nadia and I have started a YouTube channel, Nadia and Rob, featuring our cooking adventures, kitchen renos, and other fun stuff

Not only do I love making great photographs, I love teaching everything about photography.  I have a passion for sharing my knowledge with others and seeing them grow in this art form. You can find me roaming the halls of Ryerson University and also hosting workshops in m... See full profile

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1. The Modern Photogram: Intro: Step back in time before digital, before film, before even cameras were invented. Various experimenters discovered that you could place objects on a sensitized piece of paper and expose it to light and capture the shadow of the object preserving it for all time. These camera-less images named photograms, literally light drawings capture details and compositions in a totally new and astounding way. Now learn how to create photograms in a new and modern way using your digital camera or phone, and you don't even have to get your fingers stained with chemicals. In this class, we'll learn a simple setup you can make at home to create and capture photograms or shadow images. You'll use a few inexpensive items you can get at the hardware store and art supply store, along with some things from around the house, and very quickly you'll be making unique and beautiful images of household objects, items from nature, anything you can imagine. This class is for anyone who wants to play with light, shadows, and compositions. No prior knowledge is required, just a willingness to play and explore. You'll learn a completely unique way to create beautiful images of everyday objects. Hi, I'm Rob Davidson, and I'm a commercial photographer in Toronto in Canada. I specialize in food and product photography, and I really love making food look beautiful. In addition to being a commercial photographer, I'm also a really avid teacher. I love teaching photography. I teach classes at Ryerson University here in Toronto and I also run workshops both in my studio and I have an online workshop that runs via Zoom every other week where we gather as a group and share ideas about photography and share work. I also love teaching classes on Skillshare. I have two classes so far both in black and white photography and if you're interested in that, go check them out. If you're ready to start playing with light, shadow, and composition, I'll see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 2. History of the Photogram: Before we jump into the modern photogram, I thought I'd like to give you a very brief little history of the photogram, since it really goes back to the very invention of photography. Because in the 1830s, a British inventor and scientist by the name of William Henry Fox Talbot was playing around with creating photo sensitized paper using table salt and silver nitrate. One of the first ways he thought to use this was he would take plant samples or sometimes bits of lace, lay it on the sensitized paper and expose it to light. Then he had captured the shadows of the objects because where the light hit the paper, it turned dark or black and where the sample, the lace or the plant sample held back the light, it stayed white or light colored. He got this sort capture, very detailed and very fine of these objects. He later went on to take his sensitized paper, put it inside a box with a lens on it. He and a Frenchman by the name of Louis Daguerre are credited with inventing photography. Now at this time he was family friends with the family of Anna Atkins, and she was fascinated with botany as well as this new set of photographic process. She began traveling around the coastlines of England, collecting samples of algae and documenting them using a cyanotype process which produces a very delicate blue on white image of the algae. She spent 10 years traveling, collecting samples and making photograms of them. Eventually she published them in a very limited edition handmade book called Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. In doing so, she became the first woman photographer and she published the first book illustrated with photographic images. This photogram technique really goes back to the very roots of photography, and it continued to be practiced over the years. Then in the 1920s, a photographer and artist by the name of Man Ray started to experiment with these photograms. He liked the way that they took everyday objects and abstracted them and created very abstract compositions. He titled his photograms radiographs, and other artists were inspired by his work and began to experiment with photograms. People like Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Imogen Cunningham and an artist by the name of Pablo Picasso who you may have heard about. They all played with using this technique to create abstract compositions. Then over the years it became a very common experimental process that you learned when you were learning how to work in a dark room and make enlargements. One of the things that they would usually teach you is how to make photograms so you can just play around with abstract compositions. Then with the advent of digital photography, people have stopped experimenting in the dark room and the photogram has drifted off the photographic landscape. I really like the technique and that's why I decided to try and reinvent it, create a modern way of capturing photograms. That's what we're going to learn in this class. In the next lesson, we're going to look at the items that you need to put together and how to create your photogram setup. I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Your Photogram Project: [MUSIC] Your project for this class involves getting together the materials you need and then creating your modern photogram setup. We'll go through all the various materials, different options that you have, and different ways you can capture your photograms, whether you use your camera or your phone, we'll go through step-by-step how to create all of that. Once you've created your setup, you'll go maybe look around your house, get some interesting objects, or go outside, get some plant materials, and start placing them on your photogram setup and capturing images. I'm sure you'll be inspired by their results. It's really fun to do it. Once you get going, you just keep rolling. Once you have some captures, you'll be able to bring them into your computer, and we can work on them in Lightroom or you can do them right on your phone and create traditional looking photograms. We'll also look at creating cyanotype photograms. Once you have a few examples, it would be great if you could post them to the Projects tab for this class so other students can see your work and be inspired. They'll also give some feedback and I'll give feedback if you like. It would also be great if you could just take a couple of shots of your actual setup so that other students can see how simple this is and be inspired to create their own. In the next couple of classes, we'll go in detail through the materials you need step-by-step how to create your setup, how to capture your images either on your phone or with your camera, and then we'll launch into how to post-process them to create beautiful images. I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. What You'll Need: [MUSIC] Hi, and welcome back. Now that we know a little bit about how the photograph used to be created and a little bit of its history, now we can look at a new, really fun digital way of creating photograms and getting those beautiful, delicate images. What we're going to do is create a bit of a setup with some things you might have around your house, few things you may need to get. But we're going to make a setup so that you can create these photograms or shadow photographs easily using your digital camera if you want, or even just using the camera that's in your phone. Here's what we're going to need. I've created two possible ways of setting this up. The one that I tend to use, because I have these materials around, is using what are called stretcher frames. Now, these are the wooden frames that artists use to stretch their Canvas for them to do their paintings. They're relatively inexpensive. There's a few dollars each, and they're available in fine art supply stores. Places like Curry's or Michaels usually carry them and they carry them in a wide range of sizes. Now, in addition to those, for this way of setting it up, we'll need a piece of glass that's sized to what you want to photograph. What I have here is 22 inch stretcher and 30 inch stretcher. These fit together really neatly. The corners just squeeze together. Now you'll notice mine have had a lot of black tape on them because I use them for various purposes around the studio and sometimes I black tape them to hide them, other times I don't. Mine are a bit of a mess, yours won't be. But they fit together really smoothly. The corners just slide together and they form a natural right angle. You can put these together quite easily, like that. Here we go. That forms our frame. Now, we have a 22 by 30 inch frame. Now, I like to tape the corners to make them a little bit more secure. I use a little bit of like a duck tape or a gaffers tape to tape the corners just to hold them in place so nothing unexpected happens. I'm always nervous dealing with a piece of glass, so that's why I do this. [MUSIC] That's how we make a frame using our artist stretcher frame. I have a piece of glass. Now you'll notice I've also taped the edges of the glass for protecting my fingers and that glass will sit right on top. I'm going to be showing you how to do this setup. I'm running through the materials very quickly. That'll sit there. Then we have a roll of tracing paper. Tracing paper you can buy either by the roll, or by the sheet, and all you're looking for is a translucent, relatively smooth paper. Now, there's tracing paper, there's a light vellum. You can even use the white parchment paper that you use for baking if you have that in your kitchen. That actually works and it has a little bit of texture, but it's quite nice. But this tracing paper works beautifully and I'll show how we're going to set that up. Now, an alternative way to do this, if you don't want to buy the stretcher frames and a piece of glass, now the piece of glass, you can use Plexiglas or you can use glass and you can have that cut at a hardware store. If you want to avoid that whole thing, what you can do is go to a place like Michaels or I think at Walmart, you can often by these relatively inexpensive poster frames. This is a 16 by 20 frame, which is plenty big enough. This frame is a little bit larger. You can get 16 by 20 or 18 by 22, all ready to go with the glass in it. All we're going to do then is open it up and take the back out. Take this out. Get rid of the cute picture of the dog and we'll put our tracing paper in here and then that'll be our setup. But that's an easy alternative to doing the stretcher frame and the glass. If you don't want to be bothered, you can buy an inexpensive frame and that will do the trick. I have links to all these materials in the notes. You can either use the stretcher frame and piece of glass, or for an easier alternative, you can just buy a poster frame at an art supply store with the glass in it all ready to go, whatever is more convenient for you. Now, the next thing we're going to need is a light source. What we're looking for in a light source is a small, relatively bright light source that we can get up over our setup, and you'll see what the setup is like as we do it. But what I have here and the thing that I use most often is just a simple hardware store. You can get these at a hardware store or at home depot, just a regular clamp light that holds a socket for a bulb, and what I have here is a little LED bulb. These are now inexpensive. The nice thing about this one is, it has a single source. It's nice and small. Some of the LED bulbs have multiple little LEDs and those will cast multiple shadows, which could be nice, but I prefer to have one clean shadow. I use this bulb, and again, I have links to these in the notes, in a simple, inexpensive clamp light. Now, another thing you might have just sitting around, maybe it's already on your bicycle, is a bicycle headlamp. These things are really bright. They're small light sources and they're sort of perfect for doing this. When you turn it on, it's really bright. Whatever you have as a small, relatively bright light source will do the trick for this job. Again, we have our camera or our phone that we can use, a piece of tape, and I'm also to hold all this stuff up and in place, what I use is a couple of folding chairs. These will go on the floor and will hold up our frame so that it's suspended. A couple of folding chairs is what I use. These are inexpensive Ikea folding chairs that I use all the time. But any chair you have is a convenient way to set this up. Or if you want, you could set this frame up so it hangs off the edge of a table as long as you have something to weight it down onto the table, it can be off the edge of a table. I prefer putting it between two chairs and I'll show you how that setup works. Then you need some way to put your light up over your shooting surface like this, your table, and so what I do is I have a little step ladder here. I'm going to destroy everything. I have a step ladder here and I'm going to clamp my light to the step ladder, [LAUGHTER] and that's going to hold it over my set so I can get the light shining down. Then we're going to shoot from underneath to catch the shadows that the light makes. These are all the bits and pieces that we are going to use to make our setup. I collected a bunch of objects for us to play with and make our compositions. Let me now show you how I'm going to make this setup, and how you can do this at home. Back in a minute. [MUSIC] 5. Your Modern Photogram Setup: [MUSIC] Hi, welcome back. Now I'm going to show you how all the pieces go together. The basic idea behind this is we want to suspend this frame with the glass in it, and then have the tracing paper on top of the glass so we can rest objects on the tracing paper and then shine a light from above so that we see the shadows underneath, and then we capture with a camera from underneath the tracing paper. This is an idea that I came up with for a workshop a while ago, and it works really well, and it's really fun because you can arrange things really easily on the tracing paper and then see the results from underneath. Here's how I go about setting it up. I use these folding chairs, which are relatively inexpensive, but anything you've got will do the trick. Any couple of chairs you have. As I mentioned before, you can either use this inexpensive frame and just sit it on the two chairs, like that, and now you have your glass and your frame supporting it so it won't break and it's sitting on your chairs. Now, what I'm going to do is use the stretcher frame and a sheet of glass that I have gives me a little bit more room to work with, a little bit more room to play. I'm going to use that, but you can certainly do exactly the same thing with this frame and then you get all the pieces in one. Here is my artists stretcher frame 18 by 22, and what I want to do is rest it on the chairs like this. There we go. Now, I want to be sure that this doesn't accidentally slip off. What I do, I grabbed some tape, anything in the way of a relatively sturdy tape. It's just a safety measure really more than anything else, and I just tape this to the chair. [NOISE] That's going to help just stabilize everything, and make sure things don't just slip off. Big sheets of glass make me very nervous. [NOISE] There we go. Now everything's held in place. We're nice and secure, and we can take our piece of glass and just place it right on top of this. Here's our sheet of glass and I've taped the edges with black just to keep my fingers safe, and drop that on top there. That's it. Now that piece of glass really isn't going anywhere. It's held in a frame. If you want, you could put a couple of pieces of tape on it just across the corners that would hold it in place. Just to be sure. [NOISE] Not a bad idea. There we go. The nice thing about working with the frame is that the glass is held nice and secure in place. There's our basic frame. Here I'm just going to cut a piece of tracing paper to cover the glass. [NOISE] Let go. Perfect. Tracing paper sits on the glass, and now it's very easy for me to just place objects on the glass, nice and simple. For my light source that I want shining down on the tracing paper, I'm using this little clamp light with an LED bulb, and I'm going to hold it up with my little step ladder. Now, whatever you have around the house that you can put a light onto, if you have a floor lamp, that'll work perfectly. If you happen to have a little light stand, that works great or a tripod for your camera. I'm just going to clamp the light in place and I find for me a little piece of tape just so holds it there. There we go. I'm going to plug it in. Just plugging it in. There it is shining down. Now I just need to set up my camera so that it faces up and I can get ready to take pictures. I'm going to show you how I set up with my camera. I have this little Gorilla Pod that allows me to point the camera straight up. If you want, you can just lay the camera flat on the floor if you want to lift it up, put it on a couple of books, no problem. Or you can take your phone and just lay it down on the ground, but this I'm going to start by showing you this setup. I have my camera on the Gorilla Pod. It's facing straight up and I have a little monitor facing out. All I want to do is position it so it's looking up. If I place an object like this roll of tape on there, I see the shadow and I can focus. That's basically my setup. You want your camera pointing up like this and your light coming down, casting shadows, and then you just compose your objects here on the surface and take pictures with the camera. If you want to use your phone as your camera, you just turn on the camera, and it helps if you turn it to the selfie alignment. You can just lay it on the floor. Once you put objects down, you can see perfectly what you're photographing. That's how simple this setup is. We're just holding up a frame with a piece of glass in it and a piece of tracing paper, a light shining down on our objects, and then the camera facing up, shooting the underside of the glass. Now we're ready to place objects on here and make photograms. The one last thing we have to do is darken the room. Be right back. [MUSIC] 6. Capturing Your Photograms: Now we're all ready to go. I have my light aiming down at my surface. You can see my hand casts a shadow and my camera is pointing up at the underside. There we go. We can see the shadow of my hand is all ready to be photographed. What I've done is I've put my camera on a little gorilla pod, but it could actually go flat on the ground if you want it, depends on what you've got. I also have my Preview flipped out so I can see it, makes it easier to work. It's not necessary, but it's a nice thing to have. The camera is pointed up. Now, I've adjusted my exposure and I'm pretty much ready to go. I've tried to make the exposure a little bit on the white side, you can use Auto Exposure if you want. You'll probably want to adjust the brightness of the Auto Exposure, the Auto Exposure compensation. Dial it up a little bit to get a nice bright white. Then you can let it go. Now, I've adjusted my settings manually just because that's what I'm used to doing. I'm at F4 at about, I think it's 60th of a second, and ISO 3200, which is giving me a nice bright white. Now, what I'm going to do is we're going to turn out the lights and start putting some objects on the surface and photographing them. Here go the lights, boom. Now, there's my surface. There we are. I'm just going to hit my camera. There we go. It's ready to go. Now, I went and did some trimming of some weeds and things growing in a field just near us. I'm going to just start playing with those. You can see as I lay them onto the surface, their shadows get cast underneath. It's a very pretty effect. I'm going to start with these little cedar bushes. There we go. What I love about this technique is it's completely random. You can just play things out any way you want. Whatever appeals to your visual sense. I have a couple of little trimmings here. There we go. Just make a pleasing arrangement, and when you're happy with it, I like that. You just press the button. Take the picture. Now, you'll notice that because we're doing this this way, we have a white surface with the darker shadows. Now, a traditional photogram made in a darkroom, because you're using photographic paper where the light hits it, it goes black and where the shadows are, it stays white. We're going to shoot it like this, and then later in Lightroom or Photoshop or Photos whatever app you want to use, we're going to reverse the tones to get a black background with white shadows. Or you may find you like it this way. It'll be up to you, but we'll play with that in the next lesson. I'm happy with those. I also grabbed some what are called horsetails ferns, beautifully delicate ferns that grow and I'm just going to make a really nice pattern of them. String them together a little bit. I have a few more down here. Just to fill out the bottom. That's looking pretty. I like that. That looks really nice, I like that. I can make a little adjustment here. I want this to just flow together a little bit more. There we go. The nice thing about this technique is when you see something you like, you just grab it and you have it. There we go. I got some of these beautiful, I have no idea what kind of leaves these are. Some sort of weed. Maybe somebody can tell me in the comments. There we go. Very nice. I'm pleased with those results, so I can move on. The fun thing about this is, absolutely anything you have around the house that will cast a shadow works beautifully. There we go. You can be as playful or as silly as you want. That looks fun. Looks almost like a bunch of fish swimming. There's also nothing that says, you can't include your own hand. Now, they're acrobats. That's fun. For my last little demonstration, I want to do something that I love playing with, and that's glassware and water and light coming through it. What I've done is I've moved my stand back a little bit so that the lights on a bit of an angle now, so I can see the cast shadows from the glasses. I'm going to play some glasses, some of them standing up, some of them down. I think I'll put some water in some of them and just see what kind of patterns we get. Now if you could turn out the lights, that would be great. That's looking pretty neat. I'm just going to see what it looks like. I've pushed my stand back a little bit and I'm aiming my light on a bit of an angle. Now I can take some interesting glassware that I have. That's looking neat. I like that right the way it is. I'm going to just grab that, beautiful. That looks amazing. Then I'm curious, because often what happens is when you fill glasses with water, they do something completely different, like that. I love how the light comes through the liquid. Well, I'm happy with those as examples. As you can see, this is just play to your heart's content. Get your setup made and then grab some objects. You can pass light through them like this, use them as shadows, and make a bunch of shots. Now, I also just want to show you that you don't need to use a fancy camera to do this. I happened to have the camera that's always in my pocket right here. What I'll do is I'll turn on the camera, and I'll take it to selfie mode. Using the back camera, and I can just lay this on the floor. There we go. It doesn't matter whether it goes over the edges a little bit. If you want to, you could raise it up on a book or a block or something like that, but really it doesn't matter because you can crop it later. Now that you have that setup, very simple and everybody's got a phone these days. Just turn off the lights for a sec. Thank you. Great. There's the same shot just done with your phone. Very simple, beautiful. I like these. I really like this technique. Bring on the light again, Nadia. Thank you. My camera woman is doing double duty on lights today. Thank you. In our next lesson, we'll learn how to edit these, reverse the tone so we get black background with white shadows and turn them into beautiful images that you can share with your friends, and these make really beautiful presence for people. I'll see you in the next lesson. Bye bye. 7. Editing Your Photograms in Lightroom: [MUSIC] Now that we've captured our beautiful shadow images or photograms, let's look at how to use Adobe Lightroom to edit them and give them that classic photogram look. Here we go. I've brought the images into Lightroom, and we're in the library grid mode, and I really like this particular image. I think it'll work well for our demonstration purposes, and it's a classic photogram subject matter, sort a botanical field. Let's bring it into the develop module. Our process is going to be fairly simple. First, I'm going to crop it just so we don't have any distractions, then we're going to render it into black and white, then reverse the tonality because we've captured this image with white background and our object darker or shadows on the background. But the classic photogram is the reverse of that because you expose photographic paper which turns black when exposed to light, and our objects become light shadows against the darker background. We're going to use the tone curve to reverse those tones and then we'll just adjust to taste. Here we go. First thing we'll do, is I'd like to rotate this image. In Lightroom, Command or Control left bracket rotates the image, and then we can select the Crop tool, come in and just drag the corners in to crop this image. Just like that. No distractions or outside elements. Now we're just working with the image as we like it. There we go. Now, let's start off in the Basic panel because of course, our leaves have a green color and we want to just work with black and white because that's a classic photogram look. These were done long before color even existed photographically. In order to do this, what we're going to do is go to the Basic panel, and right up here at the top, there is a button for black and white, and we just convert it to black and white. Now, if you'd like to delve further into all the controls that we have to make beautiful black and white images in Lightroom, I have another Skillshare class called Fine Art Black and White Photography. You can have a look through that. I delve into all the black and white controls in Lightroom. But for today's purpose, all we want to do is a simple conversion, so we just click the black and white button. Now we want to reverse these tones, we want to make the whites black and the blacks white, and we'll do that with the tone curve. Right now when we open the tone curve, it opens with a line running from bottom left to upper right. If we reverse that line, we'll reverse the tones of the image. What I'm going to do is just click on this little bottom left-hand dot and drag it right up to the top, which will make our image appear white, but then when I grab the right-hand dot and drag it down, now we've reversed the image. What was white is now black, and our leaves are lighter against the black background. Now, we can return to the Basic panel and adjust the tones to make it whatever we want. It's basically tone to taste. Now the thing to remember is because we've reversed the tones, say we drag the white slider, it will actually affect now the black tones because they've been reversed. I can make my background darker by dragging the whites up, takes a minute or two to get used to working in reverse, but it's not that difficult because you see the results, and the blacks, I can lighten those up. Now we have a really nice silhouette of these, I think these are ginkgo leaves or something, but we have a silhouette of them against the black. I'd love to have a little more contrast to this. We see a little more detail in the leaves, and I can play with the exposure to get exactly what I want. There we go. Now the edges of this are a little bit on the light side because that was where our light was falling off, and I can adjust that down here in the Effects panel. If I click on the Effects panel and use post-crop vignetting, that will lighten or darken the corners of our cropped image. What I can do is just click on this and drag out a little bit and that'll darken down those edges. I can control how far it comes in with the midpoint. There we go. I'd like to leave just a little bit of that fine texture, which is quite nice. That's the texture of the tracing paper we are working with. Now we've created a very classic looking photogram with this silhouette of the leaves against the darker background. That's the steps to edit the images and create a classic photogram look. Let's just quickly review that on another image. Let's take this one. Again, just to quickly review, Command or Control left bracket to rotate. Crop it in. Here we go. Then click in the Basic panel, click black and white to remove the color, tone curve to reverse the tones, drag up, drag down. We've reversed the tones. Go back to the Basic panel. We can adjust our contrast, highlights, and shadows to just what we want. If we want to darken in the edges, we can just quickly go into Effects, apply some vignetting. There we go. Adjust to taste, and we've made another classic photogram. [MUSIC] In our next lesson, we're going to take this classic photogram look and render it as a cyanotype, which was an early technique used at the very beginning of photography to create a beautiful blue-cyan image. Will see you in the next lesson. 8. Making a Cyanotype: [MUSIC] Hi, welcome back. One of the earliest techniques to create photographic images and photograms was something called a cyanotype. It was a chemical process that created a beautiful, delicate, set of blue cyan image that we saw some examples of in the introduction video. If we want to get this look for our photograms, we can do it here in Lightroom as well. What we can do, is here's our classic photogram look with black and white, but if we'd like to have it in a blue cyan tone, we can go to the color grading Window in Lightroom. This is where we can choose to apply a color tone to the mid-tones, the shadows, or the highlights of our image. What I'm going to do is I'm going to start with the mid tones, and the way this works is we just click on this little circle in the middle and drag it out to the color we want to apply. If I drag halfway between green and blue, we get a nice set of cyan color and I can adjust the color as I wish. In the mid-tones, there we go. If we want to apply a similar color to the shadows, here is our shadow circle, we just click and drag out. We can apply a slightly different color to the shadows, but in that same range, and same thing with the highlights. There we go. Now we've created a cyanotype version of this file, which I think is actually very pretty. If you'd like to see that once again, here's our other image that I quickly demonstrated. Again, I usually start with the mid-tones and just click and drag for a nice cyan tone. Same thing with the shadows, there we go and highlights. It's a simple click and drag to apply these set of blue, green colors to our image and create the look of a cyanotype. In our next lesson, we're going to take the images that we captured on our phone and edit them in a free Google app called Snapseed, to create a classic photogram look and also a cyanotype look for them. Will see you in the next lesson. Bye bye. [MUSIC] 9. Editing on your Phone: Hi, welcome back. Now, I know lots of you would love to be able to create and capture these photogram images right in your phone. Let's look at doing that. We've already seen in the demo how easy it is to capture these images on your phone, and now we're going to see how to edit them right on the phone. Now, any app that has a curves tool in it, you can use, so whatever you're comfortable as long as you can access the curves to reverse the tones, you can use that to make the photograms. Personally, I really like Snapseed. It's a free download. It's available for all smartphones. I believe it's a Google app and it has some great tools for working with what we're doing. Let's have a look at it. Here's Snapseed and I'm going to open it up and it can access all the photos that you have on your phone, and I think this is a particularly good one. Now, across the bottom we have looks, tools and export, we're going to use the tools. First one we'll do, is we'll crop. On the left-hand side second row is crop. Just drag in. Looks good. There we go. Check mark, done. Next thing we want to do is the curves so we can reverse the tonality. Lets just grab the curves tool and I'm going to grab this button at the top right and drag it all the way down, and then the one at the bottom left. There we go. Now, we've reversed the image. Now, we have another tool. It's a black and white, converts the image to black and white, and gives us some nice looks that we can play with. Either more contrast. Now, I happen to like the dark look, but we also have sliders to make individual adjustments. With the sliders, I can choose brightness because I think I'll darken this down just a little bit. There we go. I'd love to add a little bit of contrast as well. There we are. Oh, I like that. We can even add a bit of grain if we want. There we go. I'm happy with that. That's a beautiful-looking photogram, but it doesn't stop there. We you can actually open the tools again and there's this great little tool, the little antique lamp, vintage. Vintage has a whole bunch of different looks, color toning looks like we did with the color grading tool in Lightroom and it just so happens that number 6 is a cyanotype look, which we can apply, and we have sliders again, we can affect the strength of the style. There we are. Dial it up a little bit. There we go. Now, we have a beautiful cyanotype photogram. There we are. Now, we've learned how to capture and edit photograms even make a cyanotype look right here on our phones that they're ready to share on Instagram, email to friends, whatever we'd like to do with them. Feel free to experiment and explore with your own images and I'll see you in the next lesson. Bye bye. 10. Conclusion: Hi. Congratulations on completing this class on the modern photogram. You've learned now a little bit about the history of the photogram, how it goes back right to the very beginning roots of photography. You've also learned a new modern way to create a setup to allow you to capture photograms, and either edit it right on your phone or in your computer, to create beautiful, abstract, evocative images like this or like this one. Also, how to transform those images into beautiful sienna types. I love this. This whole look of images. It's just such a fun way to create art out of these completely abstract objects that you have lying around your house, and I really encourage you to keep playing with this. If you can leave your setup so that when you get a few things, say you go for a walk, and a few items catch your eye, just bring them home. Drop them on your setup, and make a photogram of them. You'll find that it's really fun and playful. You can also explore different looks that you can create for your photograms. They're really fun ways to document all the things in your life. You could also do things like, what's in my drawer, what's in that junk drawer? You can make abstract collections of things like that. Obviously, kitchen utensils. If you have any hobbies, some of the tools that you use in your hobby, they make a really interesting composition. Things that are translucent or transmit light are also really beautiful. Keep an eye out for the things in your life, and just keep making these beautiful photograms. Now, I also find that because they're so unique and different, and people really haven't seen photograms in quite a while, they lend themselves to being transformed into what I call photo objects. Different things that you can make with photographs, things like T-shirts or various pieces of apparel, but also stuff like throw cushions, for instance. They make beautiful things like that, tote bags. I'll leave a link to a company called CafePress that does exactly that. They take your images, and they print them onto all kinds of different objects. These things make great gifts. Imagine, you could take a shot of kitchen utensils, and transform that into an apron for the cook in your life. I really encourage you to keep experimenting, play with this technique. I also want to remind you, please upload these images to the Projects tab for this class because it's really inspiring for other people to see what things you've created. If you can, grab a shot of your actual setup because that's also really informative for people. If they can see how you created your setup, and then what you've done with it. Keep playing, keep experimenting. I can't wait to see what you do. If you like this class, I have other classes that you can see on my teacher's profile. Hopefully, I'll see you in another class. Enjoy.