My long time-exposure is finally finished. It lasted 6 months starting near the Winter Solstice in December 2019 until the Summer Solstice in June 2020. Done in three parts, sunrise solargraphs were merged into this one image. Previous solargraph posts are found here.
The tools needed were simple. Ilford resin coated photo paper lined the inside of an old coffee can. The white photo paper is visible here wrapped inside this can. Small magnets held it firmly in place. The 5×7 paper size fit the can with no trimming. It can be trimmed to fit other sizes of pinhole camera.
On the opposite side of the can from the paper was a small hole to allow light to enter exposing the paper each day. A pushpin from a bulletin board was used to make the pinhole.
The final tools needed were a heavy rock and a ledge facing east at our front east-facing window. The rock held the can during windy days. We had a lot of those.
Starting in December, the can was left on the ledge for several weeks pointing southeast. The photo paper was removed and replaced with a fresh piece. The can was pointed a little bit more directly east and left to expose for several more weeks. Fresh paper was inserted and the can pointed a little northeast for the final weeks. Each exposure looked similar to this. Bright sunlight exposes the photo paper as dark streaks. Dark objects like trees appear light colored.
The paper exposures were placed on a scanner to be digitized. Photoshop was used to convert them to greyscale, invert the blacks to whites, adjust contrast and exposure, then merge the three images into one.
Our lives have been altered so much this year. There is unrest, violence, illness, death, isolation, and terrible stress on many people. This project was soothing for me because of the predictable way the Sun rose as it coursed to the north. Now it begins the journey south. I can count on this.