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Solargraphs trace the seasons by exposing a sheet of photosensitive paper to sunlight for up to a year. The bright arches in this image mark the sun’s path across the sky in Middleburg, the Netherlands from the summer solstice to the winter solstice. Amateur astronomer and photographer Jan Koeman slipped a piece of photographic paper into an empty beer can, poked a hole in the can with a pin, and suspended the makeshift camera in the garden from July to December.
The sun’s daily tracks, high in the summer and low in the winter, were etched onto the paper. Sometimes the tracks were interrupted by clouds, and some rainy days are missing entirely
An essential part of this method is the building of the cameras out of empty cans or tins. One of the most special things about this method is the fact that even if black and white photography paper is used as the light sensitive material, the outcome is a color picture.
The weather during half a year is seen in the image above. The Sun´s slow path across the sky is beautifully captured by this unique image. The Sun´s altitude (it´s peak) is reached in midsummer on June 21st in the northern hemisphere. Every day the Sun leaves one line after one. The tracks of the moving Sun are visible and increase progressively from December to June.
The missing tracks are due to the Sun beeing obscured on overcast days.