Man Ray’s rayographs & solarization

This post is made with futurism in mind for my 1 min long experimental narrative video. I spoke briefly before about how my usual futurism work takes video (10 seconds+) and puts it into a still, so to push myself, for my video I want to explore reversing this, using photography techniques, traditionally used in stills, to occupy my video.

I am more of a digital photographer so I don’t know much about darkroom techniques, but one dark room experimenter’s work I love is Man Ray’s.

Man Ray’s work is beautiful and experimental, he was the master of 2 techniques…


Bare in mind Man Ray didn’t discover Solarization, he just happened to stumble upon it. The story is that him and his assistant Lee Miller were developing in the dark room when Lee felt something run across her foot, she switched on the lights, when they looked at the photos in the developing tank they saw this solarized effect. This was between 1929-1930.


‘Les Champs Delicieux’ – 1890 – 1976

Rayographs are produced by placing a 3D object onto photographic paper and exposing light to it. This is the same technique as a photogram, but Man Ray was so influential in the technique it was named after him.

I really want to try these techniques in the dark room tomorrow.

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