Three months long solargraphy capture

How many of you is familiar with the term “solargraphy”?

The following is an exposure of around 3 months done with a “camera” realized by my friends of Timescan Project. You can have a look at their portfolio on their Flickr page. One of them, @flick87, has recently joined the forum.
I took the “shot” and then processed it with GIMP.

I’ve just posted about my processing of the image I did with GIMP on my blog:

If you’re curious about the technique, you can contact directly the Timescan Project, but essentially, the picture is a piece of very low sensitivity photographic paper placed at the back of a cilindric pinhole camera.


Excellent. Did you use colour paper? There seem to be cyan and purple colours.

I did some of these, but much shorter exposures, on B&W paper. About 50 years ago, I suppose.

I honestly don’t know what was the paper, but I think it was b/w (maybe @flick87 remembers…).
If you look at the blog post linked, you can see the “original”, just out of the scanner, after exposure.

In the picture I posted, I actually added artistically part of the coloring, entirely arbitrarily, mostly in the stripes.

Thank you @billznn for showing your work on that shot.

We make DIY pinhole cameras loaded with photographic paper for B&W printing, in this case it was a sheet of Ilford Multigrade IV.
Given the low sensibility of printing paper exposure time must be at least several weeks to get a good exposure of the scene.

Different kinds of black and white papers give different colors, due to the direct exposure; in this case Ilford has a blue/green color cast.

For any other question or information feel free to ask!

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From my rusty memory, B&W photo paper had a sensitivity of about ASA 5 (ISO 5). But that was processing with the usual paper developer (and fixer). I suspect you use no developer at all. Is that correct? So instead of developing a latent image, you expose for long enough to get a physical image.

You can then scan the paper image (and negate it). You can also fix it. If you don’t fix it and simply put it on a wall, it will eventually turn black (or some other colour).

Very cool.

Yes, you are completely right.

From the datasheets photo paper seem to have 5-25 ASA.
That’s why exposure time must be long enough to give some sort of image of the scene. Only the sun trace passing directly through the pinhole is bright enough to leave a mark each day.

We then proceed to scan and invert the resulting image without developing, in order to enhance the details and remove the color cast (as showcased brilliantly by @billznn) in this thread.
We don’t fix the original but it will ultimately overexpose if left in a bright environment.