Michael Chrisman took a single photograph of the Toronto skyline exposed though every second of 2011.
A year ago, on 1st January 2011, the Canadian freelance photographer Michael Chrisman, placed a pinhole camera in Toronto’s Port Lands and took this stunning picture:
“I’m thrilled with it,” Chrisman said. “It’s a very dreamy photo. This one has a soft and kind of foggy feel.” The picture was taken with a pinhole camera which consists of a rusted metal box set next to a shipping beacon near the shipping canal. Chrisman used tape and a few bricks to “secure and position the camera for its long wait,” he said. Inside the metal box he placed a piece of photosensitive paper that due to long exposure showed already visible to the naked eye the image taken. He used photosensitive paper in his cameras, as opposed to film, because it is less sensitive to light. A typical daylight exposure with a pinhole camera loaded with film is several seconds long, or less.
“If I were to try to develop the paper in a traditional darkroom, the image would be lost,” said the photographer. Instead, he used a scanner to capture the image from the paper, and in doing so, destroyed the paper image itself. “The bright light of the scanner slowly erases the image, inch by inch, as it captures it.”
The exposure period was thus 365 days, roughly 31 million 356mila seconds, a shutter speed not possible with conventional film photography. The result is an image is very special “as a timelapse photography,” said the author. Not particularly sharp but very suggestive, where stands well the profile of the city with the CN Tower, and the shining of the sun, that gradually changes position with every passing day and seasons.