“Boy,” a photogram by Karen Amy Finkel Fishof

Santa Monica’s dnj Gallery exhibits large-scale photos taken without a camera

Karen Amy Finkel Fishof is not your typical photographer. For starters, she doesn’t use a camera. Instead, Finkel Fishof stages scenes on light-sensitive photo paper, which she exposes to light and then processes in a darkroom, much like traditional film photography. The resulting black-and-white silhouettes, each one a unique interplay of light and shadow, are known as photograms.

“I love the anticipation and surprise of seeing how the exposures reveal once placed in the developer. I get such a thrill because it’s a moment captured in time,” she says.

Finkel Fishof’s latest work is featured in a solo exhibition titled “Radiate,” opening Saturday night at dnj Gallery in Santa Monica. Her large-scale photograms cover not only the walls of the main gallery, but also the floor — a piece titled “Walk This Way” encourages gallery visitors to walk on it, quite literally following the footsteps depicted in the piece. Think of it as a giant welcome mat for the exhibit, she says.

— Kathy Leonardo

“Radiate” opens with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at dnj Galllery (3015 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica), where it remains on display through Oct. 26. Call (310) 315-3551 or visit dnjgallery.net for more information.