Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography / V&A

– A great exhibition isn’t  it??

– Aww yes fantastic! I’ve enjoyed a lot.

“Images made with a camera imply a documentary role. In contrast, camera-less photographs show what has never really existed. They are also always ‘an original’ because they are not made from a negative. Encountered as fragments, traces, signs, memories or dreams, they leave room for the imagination, transforming the world of objects into a world of visions(…)”


Camera-less photographs can be made using a variety of techniques, the most common of which are the photogram, the luminogram and the chemigram. These techniques are sometimes used in combination.



– What we learned today?

– We learned what can be achieved by using camera-less techniques.

and the winner in the category – ” favourite exhibition” is:

Susan Derges!!!!!


Her work show the honest beauty and magic of nature.


Work of Susan Derges – I think my favourite exhibition.

She do cameraless images, ‘exposed’ outdoors – usually in the delicate light of night-time.

And whats even more wired and interesting, she used the landscape at night as her darkroom.

Her images are very beautiful.

“This picture came out of spending a long time in a field in Dartmoor national park. I had been observing the changing state of the environment there over five years (…)

I started by putting seed-heads, flower-heads and grasses into a large tank in my darkroom. Then I passed light through them to make silhouette shapes on the photosensitive paper underneath; this type of image is called a photogram. I then built up the sky by swirling ink-drops in water, directly on to the paper. Water behaves in very much the same way as clouds. The bottom section was made from earth and gravel, so you get the impression of a latticework, a pool of water, and cloud reflecting in it.

When I made the final photogram, I floated all the layers of material in water – so you get a little distortion, some cusping round the seed-heads. This gives a slightly ambiguous, magical quality to the image. The arch-shaped frame was inspired by Italian frescoes I saw in Siena; in my mind, it suggests a portal to another world. It also evokes the state of reverie and imagination that is triggered by the Dartmoor field. That, for me, is as important as the place itself. I wanted to evoke the feeling of lying down low in grass – a child’s perspective, or an animal’s.”

Susan Derges for Guardian


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