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Capturing the Movement of the Sun in a Single Image: The Powerful Uses of Solargraph Cameras

Capturing the Sun’s Path: Exploring Solargraphy through Art, Science, and Chaos

Capturing the Movement of the Sun in a Single Image: The Powerful Uses of Solargraph Cameras

A solargraph camera is a simple yet powerful tool for capturing the movement of the sun over time. These cameras consist of a piece of black and white photographic paper sealed inside a cylinder with a tiny pin hole drilled into the side. The camera is then placed in a secure location where it will remain undisturbed for days, weeks, or even months at a time. The duration of time the camera is left to record is determined by the photographer, with options ranging from capturing a single day to an entire season.

According to experts, leaving the camera from solstice to solstice is the optimal timeframe for capturing the most detailed and interesting images. This was demonstrated by three solargraph cameras set up on the roof of The Weather Network in Oakville, ON, between June 21 and December 21, 2023. Painted both inside and out in black to reduce reflections, the cameras were positioned facing south to track the Sun’s movement across the sky.

While in place, sunlight passes through the pin hole to create a line of exposure on the photographic paper whenever the Sun is shining. The Earth’s movement along its orbit causes the Sun’s path to shift approximately 1 degree each day, resulting in a distinct line of exposure added to the image daily except when clouds block

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