Today’s photography is mostly characterized by the ability to take countless images and share them almost instantaneously. I have found my love in the exact opposite – analogue photography. As a side project, I practice solargraphy that required even more patience and persistence than film photography. The slower, the better.


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Solargraphy, in short, means extremely long exposures (from weeks to months) captured through a pinhole onto black-and-white photographic paper, you know the one your dad used for photos when he was a kid. As the camera is fixed during the long exposure, the scenery is imprinted onto paper and, literally speaking, the sun soars across the sky, leaving behind a streak which on the image represents one day. At the same time lack of the named streak means cloudy days. So it is also, in a way, a weird weather recording instrument.

Once the exposure is completed, there is no need for chemical development or fixing, one just needs to scan the image and make the necessary adjustments in post processing. By now many of you are wondering about the colors on images exposed onto black-and-white paper. Well the thing is that BW paper (most of them at least) get their pure black and shades of grey from the developing chemicals. If you leave the paper outside, it will, depending on the type and brand, turn dark green, purple, brown etc. The sun is also a very intense light source, so it further affects the paper, so do temperature fluctuations and humidity levels.

If you are keen on using this as your science project, then you will find the why and how on my website (www.solargraafia.ee) or my Facebook page linked below.

More info: Facebook

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This is the first solargraph that I’m not afraid to show publicly and it is still one of my favorites.

Unknown Constellations

This, along with three others, is unique due to the microscopic structures that have somehow found their way onto the paper.

Dreamscapes

This was originally a test image with new paper but I found an image in it and it became one of my favorites.

Opposition

Sun Flares

A View for a Windowsill

Touch

Saw IV

The story with this one is that I fixed the camera to a circular saw and the owner was supposed to close the camera when he started using the saw but instead he moved it to a new location.

On the Rooftops

Sometimes an image is hiding on the rooftops of the old town.

New Trajectory

Physics is to blame here. Cable ties pulled taught in the winter relax with warmer weather and the camera may fall. This time it helped the result, often it ruins it.

Boomerang

Pink

The sports are actually inverted rust spots that were the result of water splatter from a somewhat rusted pinhole.

Due South

The only car park where cars are not moved around is the police impound.

Bon Voyage

When you look closely, you can see ghost images of two trains.

Winterland

This one is special, as it is exposed onto liquid emulsion that has been applied to fixed photo paper with a brush.

Veiled Branch

Though with reduced resolution, old expired papers give wonderful results.

Correlation

Winter is Coming

The Rise

Tilted Planes