Solargraphy Gallery

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About Solargraphy


Solargraphy is an alternative photography process that uses homemade pinhole cameras and light sensitive black and white photo paper to capture very long exposures of the sun's movement across the sky. Over days, weeks, months and even years a single image is constructed revealing a view of space, time and weather patterns that we are normally not able to see. The trails show the gradual day to day change of the sun's path due to the Earth's slightly elliptical orbit and 23.5° axial tilt. The missing or broken trails are the result of periods when clouds have obscured the sun.

The colours are not a straight depiction of the scene but a consequence of the paper's chemical reactions to extreme overexposure and the influence of uncontrollable factors such as moisture, dirt or fungus that may have invaded the camera as well as temperature fluctuations. Each brand of paper has a different chemical makeup which results in a different colour scheme.

Due to the lengthy exposure the paper should not be developed or it will turn completely black, and using fixer will remove much of the colour. Instead, a high-quality flatbed scan is made of the "negative" even though the paper is still light sensitive. This means that the scanner will destroy the image as it works its way across it – all part of the fun. The image is then inverted, flipped horizontally, cropped and colour and tonally finessed in Photoshop.