1.5 Week Solargraph

Katherine Jeong
Junior, Stamps School of Art & Design


Pinhole camera photograph


This project was created to capture the sun’s movement behind the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. This specifically depicts the sun’s limited and brief appearances in the wintertime, particularly during the cloudy, snowy, and rainy weather. The goal of this piece was to visualize science, capturing a movement that is especially not noticeable to the human eye.

This piece is a solar graph created using a pinhole camera. This camera was created utilizing aluminum cans and photosensitive paper. The paper was inserted into the cans, and a pricked hole made into the cans acted as the camera’s “shutter”. This would then pick up the sun’s movement, being shown as light trails in the final picture. The characteristics of this type of photography are the longer exposure times (in this case, the camera was placed in the field for around a week and a half). Which allows the final image to show the trajectory of the sun as it travels along Earth’s latitude. This pinhole camera was placed behind the Stamps school. The image captures the slight sun path created. During the week-and-a-half-long duration, only a part of the sun’s trajectory was captured. This is due to environmental factors, such as the winter weather and rain that had come; which shows a unique display of the sun’s appearance during the winter season. The final image also comes out with a greenish-blue tint following editing in Photoshop as a result of the final image’s scan and inversion. The image not only captures the sun, but the surrounding scenery around it as well, such as any buildings, cars, and trees that came in vicinity with the camera’s view. Other than the sun, the camera also captured other lights that had come out during its exposure, such as lights from any street lamps or cars passing by, characterized by the hair-like strings that come out in the final image.