I try not to waste anything, even things that have long outlived their purpose can sometimes continue to be used for a purpose not originally intended. This was my idea behind my photogram series.
A photogram is made by placing objects onto photographic paper and then exposing it to light. This is normally done in the darkroom, using the light of an enlarger. However, I decided to go in a slightly different direction.
It has happened more than once that I have cut a piece of paper in the darkroom to use as a test strip, and putting the unused portion aside, forgotten about it. The result is that after I turn the darkroom lights on, the unintended exposure of the piece of paper I had forgotten about will change color, usually blue, over an extended period of time. Different papers offer different results. This means that photograms can be made by simply placing items on the paper, taking the paper outside, and allowing it to be exposed for a time between about five minutes and four hours (at least, that is the range I have played with).
The aspect of not wanting to waste anything comes with the fact that old, fogged-beyond-recovery paper can be used for this purpose. Those who have traditionally used the darkroom and converted to digital almost certainly have paper they no longer use. My recommendation is to either send the paper to me [g], or use it making photograms.
The unfortunate aspect of this is that the prints cannot be displayed, since eventually the light will completely fog the paper. Placing the paper in fixer to stop it from being light-sensitive will alter the color, oftentimes drastically reducing the saturation to nothing.
The solution is to scan the image, and that is what I have done. The only changes I do to the photograms are to utilize levels and curves to enhance the colored aspect. My favorite (to date) of these is Photogram #19.
I will follow this post up with one later in the week when explains the difficulties I had with this image, and how sometimes mistakes can be turned into happy little accidents (thanks, Bob Ross).