Solargraph – 198 Day Exposure


A solargraph exposed from 26 May 2012 – 10 December 2012. Image shot with a pinhole camera made from a tea caddy (please see earlier Solargraph post) and captured on MGIV RC De Luxe photographic paper. Looking at the track of the sun in the image it appears we’ve had a lot of sun – surprising considering the amount of rain that’s come our way!

© Simon Howlett 2013. All rights reserved


Yesterday I processed my first solargraph. The exposure was made on b&w photographic paper from 5 March – 23 May 2012 using a pinhole camera made from a tin tea caddy (see previous “Solargraphy” blog – published 18 February 2012). The view is from a first floor window at home. The track of the sun has been captured during the 79-day exposure. I scanned the image into a computer, inverted/flipped it and tweaked the levels/brightness/contrast to create the image above. Surprisingly the solargraph is colour despite being made on b&w photographic paper. I will start another exposure but this time tip the tea caddy back a little so the complete arc of the sun will be in the frame.

© Simon Howlett 2012. All rights reserved


Yorkshire Tea caddy that will have a new lease of life as a pinhole camera

Having read about Solargraphy and seen great examples of Solargraphs on Flickr I’ve decided to have a go at creating some myself.

Solargraphy is a method of capturing on b&w photographic paper the path of the sun using a pinhole camera and long exposure. After exposing the b&w photographic paper for up to six months the daily track of the sun is recorded. This is then scanned into a computer and processed. Surprisingly the result is a colour solargraph/photograph.

I’m going to make my own pinhole camera from a Yorkshire Tea caddy. The interior is sprayed with matt black paint and a 6mm hole is drilled in the centre of the caddy. A pinhole is then made using a needle in a square section of aluminium cut from a drinks can. This is taped over the 6mm hole in the caddy. The photographic paper is loaded using a changing bag and the lid of the caddy taped up to prevent light leaks.

I plan to place the pinhole camera indoors facing towards the track of the sun from an upstairs window. A row of houses can be seen from this viewpoint which I hope will show in the resulting image along with the sun as it passes overhead. If it all works I will post the result in a few months time!

© Simon Howlett 2012. All rights reserved