The Solargraphy Day Thread (August 21, 2020)

Solargraphy is a very simple photographic method for capturing the path of the sun across the sky. Using a pinhole camera, a single piece of photographic paper is exposed for a set length of time, from days to weeks to over an entire year. Such extreme exposure lengths capture the journey of the sun as it rises and falls and the Earth rotates, so the longer the exposure, the more of this movement you capture!

Pinhole photography is the oldest and most basic form of image capturing there is (you don’t even need a lens), but solargraphy utilises modern techniques too; you need to digitally scan the paper as soon as you remove it from the camera. The resulting image can contain a multitude of colours, even though the paper is monochrome. It requires patience, as you just can’t know what the results will be until you take the camera down.

This is the view from my balcony from March to June of this year. I wasn’t sure how much the light pollution from the city would affect it, but despite some water damage from rain showers, I think the final result is quite lovely:

March – June 2020

Creating your own solargraphs is a relatively easy; you can find instructions on how to make a pinhole camera online, and after that all you need is a sheet of light-sensitive paper, a digital scanner, and a suitable place to put it, where it can see a large amount of the sky, and can remain undisturbed for a long amount of time. There are kits available to buy; I purchased a Solarcan, which meant I didn’t have to buy more photography paper than I needed, etc. Visit their website for other photographs from around the world!

Have a good day and take care, everyone!