Lomography Meets Solargraphy

6

Solargraphy is the art of capturing the Sun’s path through pinhole photography. And with World Pinhole Day coming up on Sunday, we took the opportunity to interview Tarja Trygg, the founder of the Solargraphy project, to find out more about this unque and beautifully simple way to take photos!

©Tarja Trygg

Hi Tarja. Please tell us a little about yourself and Solargraphy

I am a Finnish artist and work in Helsinki as a senior lecturer at Aalto University, School of Art & Design. I created the website www.solargraphy.com and it encourages volunteers to become my “Can Assistants” and install small pinhole cameras all over the World. The goal is to create a World Map of Solargraphs. I want to thank all my volunteers for their contributions to the project so far – The collaboration gives much more than one person can do alone.

How did you first get interested in Pinhole Photography?

My first experience of pinhole photography and Solargraphy changed my life. It happened in May 2002 in a small town in Poland called Skoki. I was taking part in the International photographic Workshop PROFILE´02. The week was the most meaningful in my life. This one sentence awoke my curiosity and interest in Solargraphy: “The movements of the Sun go horizontally in the Northern hemisphere and vertically at the equator”. I wanted to see how different these kinds of tracks are at various latitudes. Returning home, I tested different b/w photo papers and little by little I wanted to have longer and longer exposures. Solargraphy became my passion to create unconventional photographs; it keeps me energetic and inspires me to understand more about the Universe.

©Tarja Trygg

What is it about Solargraphy that fascinates you?

Solargraphy is an amazing way to record the Sun’s path all over the world. In photography, my main interest is to get the invisible to become visible. We cannot see the movements of the Sun with our naked eyes but Solargraphs make the Sun’s trail visible. Experimental photography such as Solargraphy is a lot of fun and the whole process shows us the birth of the picture in photography.

Solagraphy is also a very economical way to create photographs because no chemicals are needed. You don’t need to develop your photographs because all the tracks can be seen on the paper negative after the extremely long exposures. (Chemicals will damage it and your paper negative will become totally black, so don’t develop your Solargraph paper negatives at all!). Another amazing thing is that the results will be in colour even though a piece of black and white photo paper is used in the pinhole camera. And the most exciting matter is that one never knows in advance what kind of results will come, because the can cameras will have been left alone in the open or hidden in public places in Cities for weeks or months. You can see the weather in Solargraphs: The lowest Sun trail comes in the winter solstice and the top of the Sun curves in the summer solstice.

What is your favorite Solargraph?

In fact I have several favourites. But this time I’ll choose this 6 -month Solargraph exposure from Helsinki because all the tracks in the image show very clearly what we can see. The exposure was from the winter solstice 2009 to the summer solstice 2010. Every day the Sun left one line in the sky. The winter in Helsinki was the coldest in 70 years. There was a lot of snow and coldness, then a really hot summer with sunny days, and then some cloudy or rainy days as well – And the Sun trails in the photo go from the lowest point right up to the top. In Solargraphs, I want to see how different the Sun trails are at various latitudes – I think all this information can be seen in this one image.

©Tarja Trygg

What would your advice be to people just starting to take Pinhole photos?

The most important part of pinhole photography is the tiny hole because the optimal pinhole size has its influence on the focus of the final picture. I encourage you to test your pinhole camera with a short exposure before leaving your camera to do an extremely long exposure. If you want to do a long exposure pinhole photo, try to find a nice view, install your camera facing the Sun and fasten it somewhere very well so it will not shake with the wind.

What is the longest exposure Pinhole photo you have ever taken?

It is this Solargraph found after a year in the archipelago of Turku, Finland. I lost my can somewhere and the next year I found it.

©Tarja Trygg

Want to become a ‘Can Assistant’? Read more about the Solargraphy Project and see loads more Solargraphs at www.solargraphy.com!

And remember, World Pinhole Photography Day is on Sunday, so get experimenting!

written by tomas_bates on 2011-04-20 in #lifestyle

6 Comments

  1. cyan-shine
    cyan-shine ·

    Excellent! I've long been wanting to do this, maybe now is the time!!! :D

  2. lakandula
    lakandula ·

    Very inspiring work!

  3. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Tarja's work is amazing and beautiful!
    @ cyan-shine it is so easy and rewarding to do, I have had a can outside for almost a year now and can't wait to see the results. Hope you are somewhere sunny! then you can do shorter exposures and still get something!

  4. lusisilu
    lusisilu ·

    Yes!

  5. monkeyalien
    monkeyalien ·

    interesting

  6. jonalon
    jonalon ·

    just emailed for two cans! so excited to get on this!

More Interesting Articles

  • Petzval Artist: The Marvelous Bokeh of Matthieu Soudet

    written by lomographyfrance on 2014-09-29 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: The Marvelous Bokeh of Matthieu Soudet

    Matthieu Soudet is a child of photography. He started shooting in his native Normandy when he was only nine years old. Since then, he has dedicated his life to capturing magical moments and puts his boundless creativity to good use through beautiful pictures and portraits. He tested the New Petzval Art Lens tells us about his experience in this exclusive interview.

  • RYU x RIO: World Cup 2014 on Kodak Aerochrome Film

    written by zonderbar on 2014-08-11 in #news
    RYU x RIO: World Cup 2014 on Kodak Aerochrome Film

    Weeks have passed and yet Germans are still celebrating the victory of their heroic football team. Shortly before the World Cup started, we took notice of an interesting photography project on Kickstarter. Berlin-based sports photographer Ryu Voelkel called for help to create a football photography book like no other. The campaign was successfully funded. Ryu made his way to Brazil and came back with amazing shots including some very special Kodak Aerochrome photographs. Meet Ryu and learn more about him and his special moments at the WC 2014.

    1
  • Jürgen Bürgin Discovers the French Provence with a Lomo LC-A+

    written by zonderbar on 2014-07-30 in #people #lomoamigos
    Jürgen Bürgin Discovers the French Provence with a Lomo LC-A+

    Jürgen Bürgin finds pleasure in strolling through the hustle and bustle of the world's biggest cities and shooting street photographs without being recognized. For Lomography, however, the Film PR agent and photographer from Berlin took a different path, literally! We gave him a Lomo LC-A+ camera for his journey to the French Provence and waited in anticipation for his travel pictures away from the big city.

  • Shop News

    Full Focus on the Framing

    Full Focus on the Framing

    Shooting with the Lubitel 166+ is an experience on it´s own. The waist level finder will help you to compose your frames perfectly.With the possibility to use 120 and 35mm Film It offers unlimited creative possibilities deemed to be an analogue masterpiece. Get your legendary Lubitel 166+ in our Online Shop!

  • LomoWall Your Likes Rumble: The Pinhole Project

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-04-19 in #competitions
    LomoWall Your Likes Rumble: The Pinhole Project

    World Pinhole Day is just around the corner. And to fuel up the excitement, why don't we all browse through our Community's large selection of pinhole photographs and start liking them?

    7
  • David Uzochukwu Tests the New Lomography Petzval Art Lens

    written by zonderbar on 2014-09-08 in #people #lomoamigos
    David Uzochukwu Tests the New Lomography Petzval Art Lens

    Only 15 and already so talented. David Uzochukwu is a student and photographer from Brussels, Belgium whose speciality is to capture breathtaking portraits. For a photography meet in Bavaria, Germany he asked us if we could lend him the New Petzval Lens, and of course we said yes! Check out the beautiful photos he and other photographers took during this special event.

    3
  • Dann Nørgaard: The Danish way of shooting with a Petzval

    written by andie_sollmer on 2014-09-24 in #lifestyle
    Dann Nørgaard: The Danish way of shooting with a Petzval

    This time we went up North and discovered that our Petzval lens has made it all the way to Scandinavia, Denmark. Enter with us the world of Swirly Danish Portraitism and meet Dann Nørgaard, a photographer from Copenhagen who captures the depth of every glance.

  • Shop News

    Change the View in an Instant

    Change the View in an Instant

    Extend the Borders of Instant Photography with the World’s Most Creative Instant Camera System Packed With Fun Features and say hello to the Lomo'Instant Camera! The Lomo'Instant is the perfectly sized Instant Camera to take wherever you go! It’s the most creative way to shoot fantastic photos which you can share anywhere and with everyone in an instant.

  • Alternative Photographic Processes: The Global Survey

    written by hembot on 2015-01-23 in #lifestyle

    The website and community “Dutch Alternative Photography” recently ran the first ever survey on alternative photographic processes around the world. Being big fans of the site, we got in touch with founder An Zuriel to find out the results! Read on to find out more …

    2
  • Seeking the Elusive 'Decisive Moment' in Foreign Cities

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-01 in #lifestyle
    Seeking the Elusive 'Decisive Moment' in Foreign Cities

    Some of the photos I took during my trips to Penang and Singapore may pass as street photography, but to be honest, they were more like my feeble attempts to capture 'decisive moments' that I don't usually find at home.

    1
  • Love is in the Air with Easelle Cho and the Lomo'Instant

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-12-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    Love is in the Air with Easelle Cho and the Lomo'Instant

    Through the Love Project, Korean artist Easelle Cho uses instant photographs to portray the beauty of love through images captured in different locations. The showcase of images features love's different interpretations in Japan, Paris, and New York . Presenting the work and insight of our latest Lomo'Instant LomoAmigo, Easelle Cho.

  • Shop News

    Carry your Cameras with Style

    Carry your Cameras with Style

    No matter what size or cut - the ZKIN bags will always securely hold your cameras, accessories and personal things. Find the right one for you still today and never hustle with digging out photo gear from the deep, dark and dangerous corners of your regular bags!

  • A New View: Finding Creative Ways to Take Photos of Iconic Sights in the Netherlands

    written by tabbymenace on 2014-04-21 in #world #locations
    A New View: Finding Creative Ways to Take Photos of Iconic Sights in the Netherlands

    Small and flat with well-marked paths, the Netherlands is a bicyclist’s dream. A few weeks’ riding will take you all around the country and through picturesque villages. Kinderdijk is only 2 hours' cycling from Rotterdam and is a perfect opportunity look for creative ways to show the commonly recognizable scenery in an unusual way.

    2
  • An Interview with Film Photographer Julia Tröndle

    written by chooolss on 2014-03-26 in #lifestyle
    An Interview with Film Photographer Julia Tröndle

    Young Austrian photographer and Fine Art student Julia Tröndle first caught our attention earlier this month through her fascinating work in poetic photography. When we got in touch with her for an interview, we were also able to find out that she not only shoots but also writes poetry, and is a big fan of Lomography as well! Read on to find out more about our featured photographer – from her beginnings in analogue photography to The Poetic Photography Collection – as well as see a selection of her work that she has personally collated!

    5
  • Inspiring Pinhole Photography Reads for World Pinhole Photography Day!

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-27 in #lifestyle
    Inspiring Pinhole Photography Reads for World Pinhole Photography Day!

    In celebration of World Pinhole Photography Day today, we've decided to make a compilation of all the amazing pinhole-related stuff we've seen, written, and read here in the Lomography website through the years. We're sure many of you will be out to take pinhole snaps throughout the day in celebration of the occasion, but in case you're itching for some more inspiring reads on pinhole photography, you might as well read on and check out our compilation!