Solargraph created with the Coleman’s Mustard tin at right. There’s more about these tins here.
Created with the Thai Tea Tin (middle).
I took two pinhole cameras to Bondi this year for solargraphy. One of my 35mm film canisters for a modest four day exposure and t’other, the Quaker Oats Cam, for a year long adventure. I attached the canister on one of the hand rail supports leading down to our dock with an orientation towards Lake of Bays and the setting sun.
I spoke with Nancy at the Tuesday BBQ about the possibility of installing the Quaker Oats Cam somewhere at Bondi for a year. Within minutes, I was with Brian touring the property in a golf cart scoping out locations. We decided that a utility pole out beyond the horse barn would make an excellent location and on Friday, Mike and Dave brought out a ladder for the installation. While zip ties work well in the San Francisco climate, they recommended and provided a more sturdy wire.
This is me keeping my fingers crossed, hoping that that the Quaker Oats Cam will survive all manner of weather that Ontario will throw at it.
A big thanks to the Tapley family at Bondi Village for their help.
September 22, 2010 – March 20, 2011
There are times when I can be very impatient. Sticking a small film canister pinhole camera outside a window for six months didn’t feel like something doable for a woman who will take her film to Walgreens for that one hour service when there are more better options.
In the end, I managed to leave one of two cameras in place for the duration. The image above is a six month view into the transit of the sun as it rises over the Oakland hills.
I’ve loaded up the Quaker Oats Cam for a three month test (vernal equinox to summer solstice). If that works, then I’ll reload for a six months — summer to winter solstice, for a complete image the range of the sun’s transit.
Many thanks to Dave at Photoworks for the paper.
You can read about my previous adventures with solargraphy here.
If you’d driven by Neuva Casa Chawazek six months ago, you would have seen me hanging out my office window with Derek’s Makita drill
affixing an “L” bracket to the wood. I then hammered said bracket into more of an upside down “v” in preparation for my grand solargraphy adventure. Two cameras were affixed that day and I created the following note in my calendar:
Of the two, one camera remains. That would be the camera that is now going to be more difficult to retrieve as we’ve had our windows replaced. The one that I hung out of six months ago has been replaced with a picture window and can’t be opened. I don’t know that Derek would appreciate me breaking the window and so I’ll have to be more careful.
I think I need to leave more messages for my future self. This isn’t the first time I’ve done so, the most memorable being the letter that my eighteen year old self squirreled away to be read on my thirtieth birthday. Twelve years is a very large window and six months seems just about right. Long enough to mostly forget, but not so long as to have become an entirely different person.
Taken with a pinhole camera crafted from a Quaker Oats canister.
I couldn’t help myself. I sprang two of four solargraphy month long tests last night a couple of days early. Those little film pots were singing their siren song… I can’t imagine how I’m going to keep my grubby paws off them for 6 months.
The above two images are from cameras two and three which I had affixed to one the deck supports out back. The top camera had been angled with a piece of matte board jerry-rigged together to better catch the arc of the sun. While it worked for a month, I’ve got a couple of days before the autumnal equinox to figure out a more long term solution to maintain the angle.
It’s a times like these that I wish I had access to a full wood working shop down in the basement. I can see just what I need in my mind, but alas, having such easy access to tools that can blind and maim wouldn’t be a good thing. I’ve already given up super sharp knives after that unfortunate incident with Derek’s fancy tactical knife and the opening of boxes post our last move. I still feel bad for those slices into his favourite Marmot jacket.
If you’ve the inclination and a view of the sky, I highly recommend giving solargraphy a go. My film cannisters were created following instructions available on Justin Quinnell and Tarja Trygg‘s sites. Once you’ve put them together and affixed them, it’s really all about the waiting. As you can see, I’m not so good with that. The autumnal equinox is Thursday, and that’s a great time to begin capturing the path of the sun where you are. Inspired? I hope so.
In any event, I’ve still got cameras 1 and 4 affixed to the exterior of the house. I’m most excited about camera 1 as it (if all has been going well) captures sunrise — lack of fog willing.
Canon SD960 IS
Given how grey our summer has been in San Francisco, I’m a little surprised how fixated I’ve become about solargraphy. Solargraphy? It’s an image that records the path that the sun takes over a long period of time. (Check out this Google Images link to see what I’m writing about.)
Once I started searching for information on how to make these images, I realized it wasn’t all that difficult.* The key ingredient (and one that will prove my greatest challenge), is patience. The patience to let that little film canister sit outside, building the image day after day.
I used the information from the following two sites to build my pinhole cameras:
Justin Quinnell, Solargraphs — How to create 6 month exposures
Solargraphy Gallery — How to make a pinhole camera
* Difficult? Well, given that I have no idea how it’s all going to turn out, I could be completely talking out of my butt. Instead of 3 – 6 month exposures, I’m going to try a month long test with the four cameras. If it works, I’ll then refill them and begin the next set on September 23rd — the autumnal equinox.
A big thanks to Dave at Photoworks for the photo paper.
Come back in a month and I’ll let you know how they turned out.