Solargraphy: A Fascinating Blend of Art and Science Captured Through Unobtrusive Cameras

Capturing the Sun’s Path: Exploring Solargraphy through Art, Science, and Chaos

Solargraphy is a type of photography that involves using a camera with a cylindrical body and a pinhole to capture images. These cameras are designed to be left undisturbed in one location for an extended period, ranging from days to months. The duration of time the camera is left in place is determined by the photographer, with options ranging from capturing a single day to an entire season.

To set up three solargraph cameras on the roof of The Weather Network in Oakville, ON, between June 21 and December 21, 2023, they were first painted both inside and out in black to reduce reflections. They were then positioned facing south to track the Sun’s movement across the sky. Due to their appearance, it’s important to choose their location wisely to prevent theft or damage if left in a public space.

Sunlight passes through the pin hole of each camera daily, creating lines of exposure on the photographic paper whenever the Sun is shining. The Earth’s movement along its orbit causes the Sun’s path to shift approximately one degree each day, resulting in distinct lines of exposure added daily except when clouds block the sky. Weather conditions like overcast or partly cloudy days will affect the appearance of these lines on paper.

In addition to capturing daily movements and changes in sunlight angles caused by Earth’s axis tilt, these solargraph cameras also record unique blends of art and science influenced by chemical overexposure of photo paper, weather factors, and environmental elements present around them during recording periods.

According to Culp, solargraphy combines artistry with scientific principles and unpredictability. The resulting images are fascinating displays of color and patterns shaped by various factors throughout recording periods.

Overall, solargraphy is an excellent way for photographers and artists alike to create unique pieces that reflect our planet’s beauty while also combining scientific concepts into their work.

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