solargraphy // time in a tin can


"One tin can. One sheet of photo paper. All the time in the world."

Using a handmade pinhole camera, photographer Al Brydon has captured the following series of photographs tracking the path of the sun across the sky. 

The result is surreal, and captures something usually unseen to the human eye- a solar journey carried out over weeks and months, all in one photograph. 



In this fast paced digital age, these photographs represent the true pace of time. Whilst it might seem as though time is fleeting, and rushing past us, they remind us that this is a perception rather than a reality. 

Using unconventional materials, the result is also an expression of an anti-technological means of photography - harking back to the days of analogue photography, long exposure times and developing images in dark rooms. 



The photographer, Al Brydon, comments on the emotive effect of spending weeks and months capturing these exposures: 

"On a personal level I enjoy the fact a different 'me' is collecting them than the 'me' that put them up. Enough time has elapsed during the exposure to take stock of an apparently impossibly quick and fleeting life."

As such, the photos are a prompt to slow down, to enjoy unwinding and to stop rushing. 



In addition to the somewhat 'anti-technological' means, the imperfections and creases in these photographs are a part of their charm. They contrast with the often over-saturated and edited images that we are usually accustomed to, and present a more untouched representation of the world. 

The streaks of light undulating across the dark photos also pick up on the highlights of the landscape, giving an eery glow to the silhouettes of trees, hillsides and water. 



Whilst solargraphy is an art that has only emerged onto the internet since the millennium, it is a technique that originates from a much older style of photography. The basic camera requires minimal materials, and the development often requires no chemicals.

The photographer ends his series by urging others to give the method a go. So, if you've been inspired by this technique, why not create pin-hole camera and leave it set up outdoors for a few days, weeks or even months.. and spend the time relaxing in between. 


You can sit back and look at more of Al's solargraphs here, and his other work on his website

To share his work, use this ready-to-go tweet 


Related posts