‘Nothing but Light’ black & white darkroom prints

For Expo:3 I was given a track by Equals (feat David Shurr) called ‘Nothing but God’ to use as inspiration. This is a beautiful piece of music and listening to the lyrics gave me a feeling of solitude. I thought about what the idea of ‘God’ is to me, and I concentrated on aspects of complexity found within every day objects and played around with the idea of light and dark. I made photograms of glass bowls to create fractal patterns, which I then contact printed to make a ‘positive’ image. This paper negative was then developed, washed and re-printed, by burning in images of nature enlarged from a 35mm Ilford FP4 film I shot, before being developed again and fixed. I chose three final prints for the exhibition, these are scanned versions of the original work. You can listen to the track just below…

Nothing but Light 1  Nothing but Light 2 Nothing but Light 3

The Photogram Process

To try and show the darkroom process involved in making these prints, I have included one of the test photograms which shows the effects of different amounts of light exposure on the paper.

Test piece

Once the correct amount of light exposure has been determined, then photograms can be made by placing objects in between the light source and the paper…

Expo3_0003 Photogram Expo3_0001

Below are some examples of test strips used to again determine the amount of light exposure and also how effective the composition is before making a final print….

Expo3 Test strip 1_0001


Expo3 Experiment

By Helen Peart

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