Here’s a view of our back yard, showing about 75 days of sunrises over the house. It’s a Solargraph, taken with a pinhole camera, home-made from a 1-quart paint can. None of the activities in the back yard during this 10.5-week exposure are visible in this image: mowing the lawn 5 or 6 times, a neighborhood party, playing with the dog…. What you can see are tracks made by the morning sun from late July on the left (and why is this part brighter than the rest?) to mid-October, arcing through the trees on the right.
The colors are “unusual” because the exposure was made not on film, but on a sheet of black-and-white photographic paper. The image does not need to be developed with chemicals—it’s already visible, but it’s dark and very low-contrast. So you scan it, invert it (because it’s a negative), and do some fairly extreme levels and curves adjustments to make the image less muddy. (You may also notice that the extreme contrast adjustments reveal some imperfections, seen as vertical banding, in my modest desktop scanner.)
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Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
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