Dreamscape Solargraph

Anna Howell
Sophomore, Stamps School of Art & Design


Digital Photo


This is an image that was scanned and edited in photoshop that was originally captured using a Solargraph, which is a homemade pinhole camera created by placed light sensitive paper inside two metal cans then taping them together. The image was created due to long exposure of light on to light sensitive paper that developed into an inverse of the image seen. It’s original purpose is to track the sun’s trajectory through the intense light emitted, but it became a welcomed mistake when the tape and other adhesive holding the Solargraph in place failed due to the extreme cold, creating an amalgamation of the original view and the view from the ground up.

This image is a result of a Solargraph, which is a single use camera made from attaching two metal cans together with a piece of light sensitive paper inside and poking a needle sized hole for light to travel into the cans from. If done correctly and exposed for a long period of time, the camera will capture a line of light from the sun along with other objects in view on the paper. For this particular Solargraph, I placed it on my truck bed and pointed it upwards in hopes of capturing the corner of my house along our neighbors. However, due to the below freezing temperatures that it was in, the tape and other adhesives were not able to stick because the viscosity of the tape increased to the point where it lost function, and my Solargraph fell off. What ended up being captured on the light sensitive paper was partially the view of my house, and partially the view of the trees and fence. The image captured was then scanned into photoshop to be inverted and edited. 

This represents the trajectory of the sun by capturing the intense light emitted on the light sensitive paper. This technique works because the light sensitive paper has a layer called the emulsion that will darken from light exposure if left for a long period of time. Variants like temperature and weather can also have an effect on the final image to the the possibility of affecting the chemicals in the light sensitive paper.