The Rayograph (photogram) is a form of photography—alternative photography. Rayographs have extremely high contrast; in fact, they consist of only black and white. Using Chicago as a theme in Rayographs is much more difficult than producing Rayographs.
According to Photography Year 1974 Edition on page 73 and 74, Man Ray accidentally invented this process when he placed a graduate, funnel and thermometer in contact with photographic paper, and then turned on the lights. After this specific discovery, Man Ray proceeded to produce more Rayographs with other objects. (If you have yet to figure it out, Man Ray named this process after himself.) This photography process does not involve cameras, but photo paper, objects and a light source.
Rayographs outline forms and shapes. Opaque objects produce the sharpest outlines. Translucent objects are somewhat fuzzy. Completely transparent objects may produce some strange lighting effects, but the objects will likely be invisible.
Chicago’s photographers could use a Chicago Bears helmet on sufficiently large, photo paper, and viewers could tell that it was a football helmet. However, the Bears logo would probably not show unless this logo had a dark outline amid a light background. This would also apply to other, Chicago, sports headgear like baseball caps from the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
An extremely large giant could theoretically rip Chicago out of the ground (making certain that this city’s borders are intact), place it on an extremely large piece of photo paper, and expose the paper using the unfiltered rays from our sun. Such a Rayograph would certainly be very valuable. However, such a scenario could only occur in science fiction books and movies.
In high-contrast, black and white, Chicago’s flag looks like any other, city’s flag. However, buildings like the Museum of Science and Industry and the former Sears Tower have distinctive enough shapes to represent Chicago. Photographers could use miniature (6 inches – 12 inches are manageable sizes) models to represent Chicago.
Two, specialty, photography stores in Chicago still sell photo paper for black & white prints—Helix Camera and Video and Central Camera. (Helix Camera and Video is at 310 S. Racine Avenue. Central Camera is at 230 S. Wabash Avenue.) Helix has Ilford paper and Central Camera has Oriental paper. Although one or both of these stores may have color paper, photographers should not use color paper to produce Rayographs.