In the 1830s, the British photographic pioneer Henry Fox Talbot experimented with placing objects on light sensitive paper. He called his images ‘photogenic drawings’, and many of them were of plants.
A number of techniques have developed using similar ideas. Some use a darkroom and enlargers and are known generically as ‘photograms’; others which are known as ‘sungrams’ use the sun to make images on photosensitive paper.
These images of plants reproduced here began as sungrams, perhaps the oldest method of making such images, but they are then subjected to one of the most recent when they are digitised on a flat-bed photo scanner and enhanced in Photoshop.