For Christmas, Sayed bought me some solar paper. This is light sensitive paper that you can use to produce monochrome images (called photograms) by placing objects on it, exposing it to bright sunlight for a while and then washing it in water (no darkroom chemicals needed). The photographer and inventor William Fox Talbot used a similar process in the 1840s to produce what he called ‘photogenic drawings’.
Now we’re having a few bright sunny days, I’ve been testing my solar paper out. It seems fitting to follow in the footsteps of the first female photographer, Anna Atkins – who used her images to illustrate a botanical guide – by starting with the houseplants.
More information on photograms can be found here on the Victoria & Albert Museum website.