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Instructions for the installation of pinhole cameras

How to Become "Can Assistants"? How to obtain a free pinhole camera?


If you want to see solargraphs from your place, and observe how different the movements of the Sun might be at your latitude, please, contact This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it . Don't hesitate to inform me of your interest in the project and forward your address so I can send a free pinhole camera (alternatively you can make your own pinhole camera!)


1. Choose a sunny place, which presents your place/area.

You can set the can (pinhole camera) into a vertical or horizontal position. If you set it vertically the final image will be panoramic whilst the horizontal position offers the form of a portrait.


2. Look for a sunny place for the pinhole camera.

Fasten the can very tight facing the Sun so it can´t move in the wind. The key point being that the Sun ´perforates´ the pinhole during the day.main point is that the Sun hits into the pinhole during a day. The good directions face sunrise or sunset.

Photo: Eero Ali-Mattila
Can with a clothes peg.


3.The expsure time starts.

After fastening the pinhole camera take the tiny black tape off from the pinhole. The exposure of the light sensitive material (photographic paper inside the can) begins as soon as the tape is removed.

Possibly the best exposure periods are:

- December 21 (winter solstice) - March 20 (the vernal equinox)

- March 20th - June 21st (the summer solstice)

- June 21st - Sept 23rd (the autumnal equinox)

- Sept 23rd - Dec 22st, (the winter solstice).


4. Leave the can exposed to the sky.

The shortest time is one day and the longest half a year. Please, write the date on the top of the can when you fasten the pinhole.


5. Stop the exposing by shutting the pinhole before you pick it up.

Don't forget to write this day also.


6. If it is possible, please take a photograph of the fastening of the can and the view in front of it, this adds to the whole experience. It also helps quite a lot in creating the final solargraph when the photograph is compared with the solargraph from the same place.


7. Send the whole to the following address:
Tarja Trygg

University of art and Design Helsinki

Hämeentie 135 C

00560 Helsinki



8. The information of the solargraph

Please write the information regarding

- the country,

- the place,

- the dates of the exposure,

- your name,

- address and

- your e-mail where I may forward the solargraph.


The best solargraphs will be published on the map of solargraphy at the end of this project.


Thanking all the can assistants all over the world for taking part in this global photographic project of Solargraphy.


Tarja Trygg ( This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it )


Photo: Tarja Trygg