Capturing Time: The Art of Solargraphy and Its Unpredictable Results

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

Solargraphy is a unique form of photography that combines art, science, and unpredictability. This technique involves using a solargraph camera, which is a simple device consisting of a piece of black and white photographic paper sealed inside a cylinder with a tiny pin hole drilled into the side. The camera is then placed in a secure location where it will remain undisturbed for days, weeks, or even months at a time.

The duration of time the camera is left to record is determined by the photographer, with options ranging from capturing a single day to an entire season. According to experts, leaving the camera from solstice to solstice is the optimal timeframe.

Three solargraph cameras were set up on the roof of The Weather Network in Oakville, ON, between June 21 and December 21, 2023. Painted both inside and out in black to reduce reflections, the cameras were positioned facing south to track the Sun’s movement across the sky. It’s important to choose the location of the camera wisely, as its appearance may make it susceptible to being taken or damaged if left in a public space.

While the camera is in place, sunlight passes through the pin hole to create a line 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 1 degree each day, resulting in a distinct line of exposure added to the image daily, except when clouds block the sky. Weather conditions like overcast or partly cloudy days will affect the appearance of the lines of exposure on

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