Solargraphy Project: Paint Can Bites the Dust

Five weeks ago I placed a new model of solargraphy pinhole camera with sophisticated  technological innovations (a bent steel wire to anchor its paint-can body on the ground and a smaller diameter pinhole) beside a maintenance road in my favorite local wetland, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. I went to check on it a few days ago, and found that the road itself had been maintained recently by a very wide, very heavy mower. The camera was still there, but was caved in on one side and was staring up at the sky, not to the southeast, as I had left it. Luckily, it did not break open.

Despite its rough treatment, it yielded a useful paper negative recording about 5 weeks of sun tracks across the sky. A week or so of cloudy skies appear as a gap in the record. You might notice 2 additional sun tracks crossing the image in a different direction (far left and top center), broken by a large gap where the distorted paper was shaded from the pinhole for part of the last 2 days by a deep fold in the back of the camera.

Crunched camera

Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2012 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.

About Tim Messick

Photographer, cartographer, and botanist/naturalist. Home is in Davis, California. Home-away-from-home is the eastern Sierra Nevada. Compiling a flora of the Bodie Hills.
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2 Responses to Solargraphy Project: Paint Can Bites the Dust

  1. Greg says:

    You could call this your new “distressed” look! Am I seeing a hint of trees in the background, or was there not enough time to record the background scene?

    • Tim Messick says:

      Good eye there, Greg. The bits of tree-like shapes are the dry stems and branchlets of last year’s weeds beside the road, right in front of the camera. I was hoping they would be more visible, but they probably moved too mush to be visible in an exposure of 5 weeks.

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