I dabbled in solargraphy years ago and decided to delve a little further into it for the vernal equinox. There are several websites with instructions to build your own camera. This set of instructions from Justin Quinnell closely follows my method. I drilled a hole in my cans and film pots rather than using a craft knife, and then filed the ragged edges of the hole with sand paper.
The first trial covered one solar day. The film pot was strapped upright to a fence and then tilted slightly upward to catch the height of the Sun’s path. Processing was simple – remove the film from the canister in a darkened room, place in a scanner and scan at high resolution. It was then inverted in Photoshop. This example shows both the scanned and inverted versions.
The paper I used is Ilford Multigrade IV RC Deluxe MGD.44M Black & White Variable Contrast Paper (8 x 10″, Pearl, 25 Sheets) and results in a cooler green/blue hue.
The smaller the hole, the crisper the sun paths are imprinted on the paper. I used a sewing needle. Make sure to hold the aluminum square up to a light to see if the needle actually went through it before attaching it to your camera.
I made several cameras and put them up at various locations on March 20th, 2014. One or two of the cameras will be left until autumnal equinox for a 6-month exposure. A few others will be taken down on summer solstice.
I processed a few last night to test the locations and positions of the cameras. This is an example of solargraphy with a tin can pin-hole camera. The upright placement of the camera results in a landscape view. After inverting in Adobe Photoshop CS6, the exposure and gamma settings were adjusted to enhance the tone. The dragon figurine was included in the shot to test special effects. Although it didn’t quite turn out how I envisioned, it was a fun experiment.
Here is an example of solargraphy with a film canister pin-hole camera. The horizontal placement of the camera results in a portrait view. The camera was tilted slightly upward.