A photogram is a photographic image made without a camera by placing an object directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material and then exposing it to light. The result is a negative shadow image that shews variations in tone that depend upon the transparency of the objects used.
This technique, which is sometimes called cameraless photography, is usually attributed to any –or a number– of image makers who worked in the 1800’s or 1900’s. The very first photogram, however, dates from way earlier. More precisely, it was made nearly 2000 years ago, on that Creation-shaking Friday when a Man of sorrows, as he carried the heavy instrument of His own torture and death, left the imprint of His Face on the veil of a Jewish girl who had offered to wipe His bloodied Countenance with it.
That Man was God.
The First Photograph was of Him. How could it have been any other way? He is, and must always be, First.
That the first photographic image is that of the Holy Face of God is enough to make the picture unique; yet, as is always the case with God and His works, there is more to it: verily, the uniqueness of the First Photograph, in addition to bearing the Divine Countenance, is determined by the fact that it was ‘developed’ and printed not by created light, as is every other image, but by uncreated Light.
By miraculously leaving His Holy Face on a humble piece of cloth, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, reaffirmed Himself as Creator and as the First Photographer, and established and sanctified for ever the photographic profession. And shortly afterwards, the humble girl became the great St Veronica, who is now –and forever– the patron saint of photographers.
“I firmly wish that my Face reflecting the intimate pains of my Soul, the suffering and love of my Heart, be more honoured!
Whoever gazes upon me, already consoles me.”
………Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos.
Mane nobiscum, Domine.