Picture of Solargraphy
Solargraphy is the art of long exposure photography that captures of the image of the sun moving across the sky.  These exposures can last days, months, even years.

This Instructable will show you one design for solargraphy pinhole cameras.  Any pinhole camera will work, but this design has a few important advantages:
 - Cheap.  Beer and soda cans are only "worth" 5 cents (10 in some states), and are filled with tasty beverages.
 - Durable.  These cans are nearly waterproof, and resistant to the weather.
 - Easy to make.  It only takes a few minutes to make one, and it can easily be done in an assembly line process.

This design is not my original idea; I got the idea from here:
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
- Can opener,
- Sewing Needle,
- Scissors.

- Aluminum cans,
- Electrical tape,
- Enlargement paper(

I used 16oz. beer cans because they fit a whole 5x7" sheet of enlargement paper without cutting.  You can easily adapt this design for 12oz. cans.

Last summer I tested out 25oz. Fosters cans.  If you go with the larger diameter cans, you'll need another large can to make the lid.

Step 2: Build Your Camera

Picture of Build Your Camera
Hold the can opener sideways to cut the lid off your empty can.  This will leave ragged edges; use some scissors to clean up the edge.

Thoroughly wash the inside of the can and let it dry.  Once it's dry, take the needle and prick a hole halfway up the flat part of the can.  The pinhole should be about 0.2mm to 0.3mm in diameter.  To make loading the camera easier, place a small piece of electrical tape over the hole on the inside of the can.  

Take another can and cut the bottom off, leaving about an inch or so of the flat part.  This will be the lid. You should be able to press the lid onto the body with a little pressure.

Cambenora1 month ago

Great 'ible. :-)

Sunprint paper would be ideal for this project:

Diegoki 3 months ago
Hello, may I corect you? Solargraphy is the English translation of the invented word SOLARIGRAFIA for the "Solaris Project", where a group of Spanish and Polish visual artist started to share through Internet differences between the Sunpaths in the northern parts of Europe and the Ecuatorial line during the years 2000 to 2002. You can find more information and the original tutorials at or in . Thanks for your attention.
Cartermarquis (author)  Diegoki 2 months ago
Sorry, what's the correction?

crazyg2 years ago
no chemicals required ,is that right? ,great images, i have some b/w photo paper from years ago. i guess it will work the same what you rekon?
Cartermarquis (author)  crazyg2 years ago
Right, I actually did develop another one but it just turned out black. The image is literally burned into the paper! I bet the paper would still work if you're going to do a months-long exposure.
action pig3 years ago
Very nice indeed! A friend and I are just starting to set these up, and we made the mistake of trying to develop our 24 hour exposure trial runs :) Hopefully ours will look as good as yours!
rimar20004 years ago
1) What these upper left angle waves are?
2) Can you make a sort o photographic paper for this?
Cartermarquis (author)  rimar20004 years ago
Thank you for your interest!

1) The lines in the upper left corner of the main photo are the drawn by the sun as it moves across the sky. At the summer solstice, the sun is at it's highest point in the sky. As the winter solstice approaches, the sun becomes lower in the sky.

2) I used store-bought photographic enlargement paper as the film for my cameras.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

Good work!
jam BD4 years ago
It's a pretty cool idea :D