Subtracted Density Photographic Artwork

I took the Art Fundamentals course at Sheridan College in Oakville, ON. It exposed students like me to the widest variety of art forms in the hope that it would help us to pick a main avenue of artistic study. I didn’t continue in the Arts. However, creativity has never been far from my life over the years.

What I am showing today is a project from the Photographic Studies part of the course. It is a process where one manipulates photo paper before the developing process called Subtracted Density.

Reaching Arm

Most efforts along this line tend to be abstract, but I chose to include one recognizable shape, the arm, but I still leave it up to the viewer as to what it is doing there.

To achieve such effects, you can scratch the photo paper, sand it, or otherwise ‘damage’ it. When the light is shone on the finished product, it interacts differently with the affected areas than with the untouched ones.


Although more abstract than the first image, I still chose to give it a title, as the end result reminded me of lightning.

Another project involved adding material to the photo paper before developing, and this was called (wait for it) Added Density. I do have one project left in my portfolio showing this technique but I don’t feel it’s very share worthy!

Have you kept any artwork from your earlier days? Or are you still creating personal masterpieces to this day?

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