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

Solargraph cameras are a simple yet effective tool for capturing the passage of time through photography. These cameras consist of black and white photographic paper sealed inside a cylinder with a tiny pin hole drilled into the side. When placed in a secure location, they record the Sun’s movement across the sky over days, weeks, or even months.

In 2023, three solargraph cameras were installed on the roof of The Weather Network in Oakville, ON. To minimize reflections, the cameras were painted black inside and out. Positioned facing south, they tracked the Sun’s movement across the sky. However, leaving these cameras in public places may result in theft or damage, so careful consideration must be given when choosing a location for installation.

When sunlight passes through the pin hole of these cameras, it creates a bright line of exposure on the photographic paper whenever the Sun is shining. The Earth’s motion along its orbit causes the Sun’s path to shift by approximately 1 degree each day, resulting in a unique line of exposure being traced across each image captured by these cameras. Overcast days show no trace while partly cloudy days show a fragmented line.

As these cameras document the Sun’s daily passage and changing angles due to Earth’s axis tilt, they also capture basic sky conditions present above their location each day. Each solargraph is a blend of art and science that features extreme overexposure of photo paper resulting from weather conditions and environmental influences like dirt or insects. Expert Culp describes solargraphy as a fusion of art, science, and chaos.

Overall, solargraph cameras offer an excellent opportunity to capture time in motion through photography while blending artistry and scientific principles into one unique creation.

By Samantha Jones

As a dedicated content writer at, I bring a unique blend of creativity and precision to my work. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, I strive to craft engaging and informative articles that captivate our readers. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am committed to delivering content that resonates with our audience and keeps them coming back for more. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the ever-evolving world of news and information together.

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