Take a 6-month exposure photo

Photography & Video Technology


Pocket-Sized sent in a link to this article about the photography of Justin Quinnell. Using a pinhole camera made from an aluminum can, Justin was able to take super-long exposure, 160 degree angle photos over a 6 month period. The photo above was exposed from the 2007 winter solstice to the following summer solstice.

In the photos, you can clearly see the path taken by the sun each day, marking the passage of time. Justin has dedicated the project to his father, who passed away on the 116th sunrise that was captured.

You can make your own pinhole camera to take long exposure shots like this. Justin put together a howto that documents his own method. The hardest part is finding a good solid place to mount the camera where it won’t be disturbed for months at a time.

One interesting thing that he mentions is scanning the film at high-res without even developing it. I’ve never heard of doing this, but I presume that if it works, it’s a one time shot. Does anyone have experience with this that would care to comment?

Pinhole Photography By Justin Quinnell
How To Create 6 Month Exposures

10 thoughts on “Take a 6-month exposure photo

  1. emperor says:

    i recently started taking photos with an old camera that i modded to take 120 film
    (http://rpi.edu/~kouttd/03/oldfilm.html) the images shown are scans from the film that are simply color inverted in software

  2. zof says:

    looks like a surreal painting you would see in an art gallery, nice.

  3. Cody Goddard says:

    It is important to note that in the article he mentions using “Photo paper,” not photo film. Photographic paper typically has an ASA around 5-10, where these days you can’t buy film under ASA 50 without doing some searching.

    If you have ever played with photographic paper outside a darkroom, you have probably noticed that it darkens from a creamy white to a dark purple when exposed to room light. This is a very slow process, effectively giving you an even less sensitive way to produce an image. This is what the author is scanning – the darkening of the paper caused by the image cast by the pinhole. I’m sure if you were to develop his image, the paper would go fully black.

  4. James says:

    Wouldn’t the light from the scanner ruin the paper, even if the ASA is so low?

  5. Bergholt Johnson says:

    @emperor: that’s just scanning negs, everyone does that. The post mentions scanning without developing.

    @james: No, it takes a lot of light for a period of time to make photographic paper go purple. Even in sunlight it takes a while.

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