Solar Graphs and Long Exposures

After looking at the work of Justin Quinnell, I was inspired to look into how he creates his solar graphs in his collection Slow Light. On his website he gives clear instructions on how to make these 6 month exposure images.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 17.55.49

The process of making a pinhole camera is similar to how I was taught in my work shop, and the exposure of six months is pretty simple, basically leave the pinhole camera open in one location for six months. However it is after exposing the photographic paper that the process changes, here are his instructions:

  1. Switch off the light in your computer room.
  2. Set the scanner on a highish resolution (500dpi is good for 5×7, 900 ish for the film pot)
  3. Take the photo paper out of the can camera and ,,,,,,without developing it (Told you it was clever!), place it onto the scanner with a book on top to hold it flat and press scan.
  4. Save the negative image on your computer.
  5. After scanning, place the undeveloped print into a box entitled ‘scanned paper negs’.
  6. Open up Photoshop or PaintNet. (Paintnet is entirely free and just as capable of what is required).
  7. Image > Inverse > Flip horizontal and play around with the contrast and brightness.

This method is all very well and works for 6 month exposures however will it work for shorter ones, as I have a time limit for this project?

I researched to see if there was any information on long exposures using pin hole cameras; I could find little other than information of 6 month long exposures, from Quinnel’s work. However I found that for night time pinhole photography usually a few hours are used to capture enough detail, this could be a good time frame to experiment with for my own photographs, especially of cars and their head lights at night. Hopefully this time length will allow me to capture the detail and movement of the cars, linking to my idea of the flow and movement of people’s lives.


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