Pinhole Camera Solargraphy

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, a single 6-month exposure solargraph (© Justin Quinnell)
The Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, a single 6-month exposure solargraph (© Justin Quinnell)

Armed with the most basic photography device and plenty of time, Justin Quinnell has captured some of the most unique and entrancing views of the Sun over my hometown of Bristol. When I first saw this image, the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge instantly jumped out at me. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but after getting engrossed in Justin’s website all about pinhole photography, I soon realised this was a six-month exposure, capturing the Sun’s motion from winter solstice (December 21st, 2007) to summer solstice (June 19th, 2008)…

These solargraphs are taken by a compact camera film cartridge (plus tiny pinhole) strapped to an inanimate object for long periods of time. However, due to the low speed of the camera film and light restriction (plus, as this is Bristol, plenty of overcast days), the six-month exposure brings a surprising amount of detail to the shot. Every day when the Sun was shining (and days when it was struggling to get through the clouds), the path it made through the sky every day was captured.

This is the beauty of pinhole cameras, any light from an object will enter the tiny aperture, projecting an inverted image on the screen inside the camera (in this case, film). The light rays will remain parallel from object to screen, thus reducing the amount of blurring. The pinhole focuses all light, no matter what distance the object is from the pinhole, no lens required.

For the vast number of applications of this basic, yet diverse technology, check out Justin’s work. It will surprise you…

And be sure to buy one of his “Smiley Cams” and create some solargraphs yourself…

A big Bristolian Cheers! to BadAstronomy.com for finding this gem.

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5 thoughts on “Pinhole Camera Solargraphy”

  1. Спасибо за пост! Добавил блог в RSS-ридер, теперь читать буду регулярно..

  2. this is really wonderful wallpaper and most attractive his info i like it this is amazing to find i am very lucky for meet me this info in this articles thanks for sharing

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