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Lena Källberg • +46-(0)733-36 74 87lena@pinhole.se

The tech side

Why pinhole
Building a pinhole camera
Buying a pinhole camera
My cameras


Cardboard cylinder
Anamorphic cylinder
Film canister #1
Film canister #2
Pizza box
Pinhole movies
Seymour 135B
Matchbox camera:
A4 size
Letter size

About solargraphy

About the photographer

About solargraphy

A solargraph is an image created by an extended exposure, showing the sun’s path across the sky. It is created with a simple pinhole camera, often made from a cylindrical can equipped with a tiny pinhole, through which the exposure is made on a piece of black and white photographic paper.

Solargraphy can camera

If you would aim a lens camera towards the sun and open the shutter, you would definitely risk putting the light-sensitive material inside the camera on fire (a fact used by Chris McCaw to create the most beautiful photographic art); the lens becomes a burning glass. But the opening of the pinhole camera does not focus as sharply, and instead this easy camera can record the sun’s path across the sky for extended periods of time.

If the solargraph camera is placed outdoors for a long time – solargraphs are often the result of several months’ exposure – it sometimes happens that the elements, or indeed animals, interfere with the camera and influence the result of the final image. Everything that is moving during the exposure becomes blurry or disappears entirely from the image. Except for the sun, which instead kind of etches its traces across the photographic paper.

Depending on what part of the year a solargraph is made, the traces of the sun reach high, or less high, in the sky during the exposure. The image is created by the change in colour of the silver salts of the photographic paper during the exposure. When the exposure is finished, and the photo paper is scanned (without the need for development!) a negative colour image appears on the black and white photographic paper. The colours are perceived as “natural”, but they are actually only an effect of how the silver grains react to such a massive exposure to light.


Interesting reads...
Zero Image
Pinhole resource
Peter Wiklund
Maco Direct
Lumiere Shop
Fotoimpex Berlin
Lena Källberg Photography