Solargraphy Project: 33 weeks in the Mono Basin


This picture shows 33 weeks of sunrises over the Mono Basin, east of Yosemite. It was made with a home-brew pinhole camera attached to a cottonwood tree at Dechambeau Ranch. You can see a bit of Mono lake just below the horizon. The exposure ran from September 24, 2014 to April 26 (Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day), 2015. There’s a gallery of other pinhole photographs taken around the world on that day here.

For the technically curious, the camera was made from a clean 1-quart paint can, duct tape, wood scraps, screws, a 0.7 mm pin hole in a thin sheet of aluminum, and a half-sheet of 8×10 Ilford Multigrade FB paper. Here’s what it looked like in situ on April 26:

Pinhole camera

See also Tim Messick Photography and the Bodie Hills Plants blog.
Copyright © 2015 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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3 Responses to Solargraphy Project: 33 weeks in the Mono Basin

  1. Greg says:

    Very nice, Tim, your best yet. What a gestation period! So, the exposure time obviously governs how many solar tracks you’ll see, but does it really matter for the rest of the image? I.e., if you waited only a month, would you still be able to see trees and mountains? Or is six months just the “right” amount of time?

  2. Tim Messick says:

    Thanks, Greg! I think the rest of the image is well-formed in only a week or two — maybe 3 or 4 — depending on general brightness and day length. I’ve done “short” exposures of about 2 weeks in which the rest of the scene is quite visible.

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