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Year 2007 ? What has happened in the project?

The project of solargraphy kept going in 2007 with new can assistants. Solargraphy became more famous around the world especially in the Czech Republic, California, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom…




I participated in the SkyWatch 2007 Contest - advanced technologies in Education - Science Education through Interactive Utilisation of a Global Network of Robotic telescopes http://www.discoveryspace.net/skywatch2007/. It was great to be invited to proceed with my project in the second phase. I was expected to further design, develop and implement the project and activities with the use of the provided telescopes´ database under the guidance and the continuous support of the team. I did my best in seeking answers on scientific issues and to subsequently analyze and interpret the material I used. I also tried to formulate the final answer or viewpoint that will conclude my project. Although I did not win, due to the large number, as well as the high quality of the submitted contest’s entries, it was still a good situation to reflect on the answers and interpretations.

A School in Scotland / Jim Logan
Correspondence with Mr. Jim Logan from Castle Douglas was very vivid and he found several good places for solargraphy. Further more he activated a local school to solargraphy. 



The document photograph from the class, P6/7 had

a pinhole camera taped to the railings on their fire escape.

The document picture taken by Jim Logan shows the pupils of the school pointing at the place where the pinhole camera has been fixed. It was fun to receive a letter containing all the signatures of each pupil. Head teacher Howard T McLean said, in his letter, that they all liked the way Jim Logan showed that by curving the solargraphy, the perspective of the picture was straightened.




>>> "Jim Logan" 03/30/07 8:00 PM >>>
Dear Tarja,

I went to our local school and took down the pinhole camera. The teacher will send it to you in the next few days.  The children were fascinated and asked loads of questions.  We have replaced the camera with another of yours and one that I made with my paper in it so in three months time we should be able to compare the results.  In the attached photo of the children you can just about see the cameras fixed to the railings (I asked the children to point to them to help you see them).

I showed the pupils some of my and John Brown's solar graphs. I also showed them the two of Finland that you sent recently.  The one by your friend Tinttu was particularly interesting because, if you bend it into the curve that the negative would have been in when in the camera then the windowsill becomes straight!  I had noticed this with the first solargraph that I sent you.  When I bent the photo, the stonewall in my garden became straight.

Enjoy yourself in Tokyo.  If you want to break your journey when you visit Dublin we would be delighted to have you stay with us for a few days. This is probably not practical if you are flying but you are very welcome to visit anytime you come to Scotland.

Happy solargraphing


Castle Douglas, Scotland, 21.12.06-31.03.07 Kodak paper.    Jim´s paper was Ilford Multigrade IV RC de lux. The solargraph is from the Gatehouse Primary School. The exposure time was three months.


>>> "Jim Logan"  04/25/07 10:24 PM >>>

Hi Tarja 

I live in a small town out in the country.  We have no photographic shop - 
the nearest one is about 3/4 of an hour away in Dumfries.  The shop I use
has now stopped stocking photographic paper.  I will have to have a search
for another one next time I am up there.

My photographic paper is Ilford Multigrade IV RC de lux.  I got it from a
camera shop that had stopped stocking anything for the old negative and
 paper photography.  I looked on the Internet for your paper and a couple of
web sites said that Kodak was no longer making it.  Maybe you should stock up
now before it runs out.

I have got 7 of your cameras out at the moment which I will take down in
June and send to you.  I have also got 4 of my own with my paper in them.

I would love some of your paper if you can spare it.  I can make the
cameras.  I would like to put up a number of cameras in June when the sun
starts to go down again.  What happens if you expose a camera from May to

July?  Does it get over exposed by the double sun tracks?

Thanks again for a very interesting hobby


Dear Tarja,

Thanks so much for the photo paper.  I will get some more film boxes and start making more cameras in preparation for the summer solstice.  I put up another camera today outside a friend's house.  He has a great view over a lake with the mountains behind.  It will be interesting to see how that comes out.  As you say, you never know how they will come out until you see the result. Fascinating!
Thanks again,


The photo of Jim Logan up a ladder

attaching a camera outside another

friend’s house.



Dent´s house 13.3.-22.6.2007


The solargraphic view from the Clock Tower in Castle Douglas, Scotland, 03.03.-22.06.2007. Thanks to Mr. Jim Logan who had the courage to fasten a can up the tower. I appreciate him finding fine places for solagraphy in his town.




The collaboration with astronomers was very successful. Thanks to them, solargraphy became very famous especially in the Czech republic and in California.

Mr. Jiri Dusek from the Nicholas Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium in Brno, the Czech Republic, ordered 80 cans for their young amateur astronomy club which started in 2006.

Mr. Chris Reich ordered 92 of my pinhole cameras for the members of the Etna Astros Club in California and the cans were exposed for 92 days from March the 20th (the spring equinox) to the summer solstice on June the 21st, 2007. Chris gave a lot of his energy for the organization of the cans to the members who were interested in participating in the project.



On Vernal equinox it is time to fasten new pinhole cameras (cans)  for exposure
Mr. Jan Kondziolka from the InAstroNoviny, asked me for 100 cans for the readers of IAN and 20 more for authors and friends of IAN (Instantních astronomických novin). To build and send so many cans was, again, a new record. I felt like a can factory.



The World Pinhole Photography Day is an international event to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography. On the website www.pinhole.org, people throughout the world are encouraged to participate in the simple act of making a pinhole photograph, sharing their visions and to help spread the unusual beauty of this historical photographic process. I have participated twice in this special day, in 2006 and 2007.

Helsinki on The World Pinhole Day, April 29, 2007


It is a very stimulating collective experience. In 2007 the World Pinhole Day was on the last day of April, Sunday 29.4.2007. There were 2945 participants. Each participant sent only one pinhole picture that has been taken on this date. The pictures were published on the online gallery. www.pinhole.org . The gallery informs the reader that ”Anyone,  anywhere in the world who makes a pinhole photograph on the last Sunday in April, can scan it and upload it to this website where it will become part of the annual Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day celebration´s online gallery.



Two weeks in Japan. I gave a course at Tama Art University in our exchange University in Tokyo.I spent a weekend in Kyoto and I saw the Fujiama, too, from the window of the train. But I do not yet have a solargraph from the most famous mountain in Japan. In case, somebody who reads this has the chance to fasten my pinhole around the Fujiama, I have sent you a couple of my pinhole cans! Please, let me know your interest in accomplishing my wish.Tama Art University / Prof. Tadashi Takahashi´s class of 52 students attended the course. He sent me these photos after receiving my pinhole cans for the use of his class.



Professor Tadashi Takahashi´s class of 52 students at Tama Art University in Tokyo got one of my pinhole cameras to be put out for exposure in Japan one month before I visited there.  



A can installation by Prof. Takahashi




Global Photographies Conference was held in Dublin.
The Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland Wednesday the 27th - Friday 29th June 2007. The aim of the conference was to bring together photographers, artists, curators and writers on the photographic image from a range of disciplines to examine all aspects of photography's role in globalization.

Tarja Trygg´s (University of Art & Design, Helsinki) Global Photographic Project of Solargraphy was held on Thursday the 28th of June. http://www.globalphotographies.ie/fulcrum.html?ep=17
I was very happy to get many new can assistants. After the conference ended, all the participants were invited to the Pub Baker´s Corner where I shared out all the remaining cans I had. One can never know how interesting the people around you can be. For example Mr. Taco Middle Bakker from the Netherlands promised to take a couple of my pinhole cans to the Antarctica in October or sometime in 2008. Antarctica is still missing from the map of solargraphs.

After Summer Solstice on 21st of June 2007, I was looking forward to receiving exposed cans from several places around the world. It was harvesting time and I concentrated on processing all the material that arrived.

During the summer there are often summer courses. Since 2003 I have been at the  Kankaanpää Institute giving a summer course on Solargraphy and Textile Printing with textile artist Maija Pellonpää-Forss. Maikku Aho who attended our summer course the previous summer (2006) got an idea to do her final study work in Crafs & Design “Artisan” at the Institute about solargraps on fabric. The title of her work is called Auringon siivet, solarigrafiakuvia kankaalla (Artesaani – opinnäytetyö 2007). www.kankaanpaa.fi/opisto/kulttuuri/artesaani_opinnaytetyot.php

Life can change during a long exposure
The title of this comes from Gregg Kemp´s blog http://www.greggkemp.com/blog/archives/94

I was delighted to see Gregg Kemp´s splendid result of the exposure of the six months from his stump camera. Gregg named the image Rumor of a Tumor. The white time lines of the Sun behind the big holy tree rise higher and higher and the sky with a bluish spot at the top right seems to be very sullen.

Solargraph: Rumor of a Tumor / The stump camera made by Gregg Kemp   

He wrote in his blog as follows:
…”I was a little nervous about scanning it, as it had become rather special to me. I had thought about that camera a lot, just sitting there for months, soaking up the sun’s rays, plus the rain, wind, cold, heat - all of it affecting that little sheet of photographic paper. I didn’t want to ruin it with the scanner. But, with Tarja’s instructions, it all went fine. I’m very pleased with it.” http://www.greggkemp.com/blog/archives/94



I was invited to give my presentation on Solargraphy in the European Artists´Association XII International Symposium “Ever dream” at Hovikartano in Hauho, Finland. I shared out one can to each participant who was interested in the project. All of them wished to have a can. We will see how many cans will be returned to me after exposure.
In my holidays I was very busy in preparing solargraphs of the six shipments sent by Mr. Chris Reich from California and several ones sent by Mr. Jan Kondziolka from the Czech Republic. The results from the cans were published on the website of the Etna Astros Club http://www.etnaastros.com/documents/solargraphy.html and their Pinhole Gallery http://www.etnaastros.com/documents/pinholegal.html

Although I enjoy doing solargraphs it was the first time I started to be afraid that the project might no longer be a one person´s job and that maybe I needed an assistant to help me. Anyway I tried to make all the paper negatives into fine solargraphs as quickly as I could. I knew the participants were waiting for the results as soon as possible. Mr. Chris Reich immediately published every shipment of solargraphs I sent on the Etna Asrtos Club web pages. The pictures are in 6 different galleries.

Thanks to Chuck Jopson who belongs to the Etna Astros astronomy club and to Chris Reich who organized 92 of my pinhole cameras to the members of the Etna Astros Club. Their enthusiastic activity made solargraphy very famous in California and what was best for the Etna Astros Club, was that their website was rewarded and won the first prize. Congratulation for their good job and activities!

The fine results from the Czech republic were published on the website of InAstroNoviny  http://www.ian.cz/detart_fr.php?id=2456
I enjoyed my holidays with seeing so many good results of solargraphs and the document photos were published side by side. This way it is better to recognize and read solargraphs as we can compare these two different kinds of photographs from the same place. I want to thank all participants and Jan who organized the sharing of my cans to the readers of the magazine. It was Jan´s idea to share the cans with the magazine. This gave the readers a chance to take part in the project.



I visited the museum of Fox Talbot, Lacock Village, Chippenham, Wilstshire, its location is about one hour by train from London. I spent one sunny day in the old village and enjoyed the historical atmosphere. It was interesting to see all the equipments and the whole process of calotype in the exhibition.
Why the museum was so interesting to me?
Talbot was the first inventor who used paper negative. The calotype negative process was sometimes called the Talbotype, too, after its inventor. It is said that Calotype was not Talbot's first photographic process (introduced in 1839), but it is the one for which he became most known. Henry Talbot devised the calotype in the autumn of 1840 and perfected it by the time of its public introduction in mid-1841.

What is the difference between sun images as calotypes and solargraphs?
Comparing the two methods we can see that paper negatives are used in both. In the solargraphic process, a piece of b/w photographic paper negative is exposed by the sun but the rest of the proceedings happen by the aid of modern technology such as a computer without using any chemicals.

Making solargraphs is a much easier process than Fox Talbot´s sun photographs as you can tell by reading about his method:

”Beginning in 1834, Talbot experimented with a process which he called photogenic drawing: coating drawing paper with salt solution and after it had dried, adding a solution of silver nitrate. By placing a leaf, or fern, or a piece of lace, on the paper's surface and exposing it to the sun, he obtained an image.

In August 1835, Talbot made the earliest known surviving photographic negative using a camera, a small photogenic drawing of the latticed window in the south gallery of Lacock Abbey. This rare item is now in the collection of the Science Museum at the National Media Museum at Bradford.

Talbot's findings were read to a meeting of the Royal Society on the 31st of January in 1839, one of the first official announcements of the birth of photography.”


Kevin Smith from London wrote an article about Solargraphy! What on the earth is it? It was published in his monthly Kevin´s Sun Spot in the magazine called Practical Astronomer September 2007, p 55-58.  PracAstSep07-p55-58-2.pdf

At the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23, 2007, 5:51 A.M. EDT),
The sun appears to cross the celestial equator, from north to south; this marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.
Some can assistants had the patience to continue exposing for 6 months and some for 3 months.



I got splendid results from Canada. All cans were successful. Have a look at the images. For example, I could immediately see from the paper negative that the image from Montréal was going to be beautiful. The exposure was three months and can you imagine that the whole city has been caught into a small film canister (can). I processed the image very carefully for a long time. Because there was the colour green in the paths of the Sun, I made the assumption that this was due to pollution. I reported this assumption to Diego and he sent me his solargraph with a green arc of the sun in Mexico exposed for a couple of days in October 2007. Here too the path of the sun is green.

The solargraph from Mexico, the balcony of Diego´s room in the Hotel Camino Real. “The atmosphere was really polluted”, said Diego.



Other ways to illustrate the movements of the Sun 
Astronomer / Program Producer Tom Callen from Cosmonova, Stockholm, publishes an article about What´s happening in the heavens, including star maps and astronomical facts  ”What´s Up” is name of a column that Tom Callen writes every month on the Naturhistoriska Museet web site. The address is www.nrm.se

For example, his article of Sun Cans – (June 2006) which includes illustrations, is interesting. The first illustration shows the path of the sun across the sky on the Summer Solstice, the 21st of June. The days vary greatly in length from season to season and the changing path of the sun across the sky is truly different in each season. His illustration shows us the movements of the sun from another perspective than the solargraphs including the landscapes. Experiments with stereo solargraphs have started but we do not yet have a perfect result.

Tom Callen´s article of Sun Cans June 2006

Another way to illustrate sunrise and the paths of the sun comes from the NET. Thanks to the can assistant Mr. Tim Merritt who sent me the address of the website of Gaisma. The name ”Gaisma” is a Latvian word. It refers to ”light” http://www.gaisma.com/en/
It is a very visual and informative website about Sunrise, sunset, dawn and dusk times around the World. It is easy to use and an easy way of seeing the daytime hours for each season. The honour belongs to Mr. Matti Tukiainen, Finland, whose site it is. I have his permission to put the link onto this site.

Gulgofjord, Norway, 12.-19.7.2006 / Leena Saraste




Seasons´ greetings
December is the darkest time on the northern hemisphere. I received a very special, beautifully hand made, wood card, a piece of art, made by Diego Lopez Calvin. He wished me the best and MUCH SUN for 2008.


On the back of the card, as well as on the envelope, there is a stamp of the jing-jang pattern, which is also a good description of the globe. When we are on the dark side, others are on the light side. On the front of the card he had exposed the face of a harlequin, whose one side of the face looks sad and the other side mysterious. He has one eye open and the other is half closed and has one special tiny silver glitter hanging from on of his eyebrows.

I was thinking about the meaning of the glitter. At the moment I can interpret it as being a glitter of hope for a better future or as the joy of insight for finding explanations and conclusions to the research on solargraphy.

The Joy of Insight
A few days ago I suddenly caught a glitter of hope. I found myself looking at the website of space research of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. I sent a solargraph from Montréal to PhD. Heikki Nevanlinna, space researcher, asking his opinion of the possibilities of having the measurements during the exposure of three months.

Mr. Nevanlinna found something very important to me in one solargraph from the website of solargraphy. It was a solargraph from Norway, Gulgofjord, near Utsjoki, 70°N, 28°E. / can assistant Leena Saraste. In the solargraph there are two light paths and the lighter one is made by the MOON! By looking at the calendar, this makes sense, as on the 12th of July 2007 there was a full moon. If I remember right Leena did mention the full moon during the exposure. My earlier assumption was that the visible moonlight paths in the solargraphs were reflections, because I had been told that the light of the moon is much too week to be able to be seen on a solargraph. At last my suspicions about the moonlight paths being visible on solargraphs were confirmed.

I have tried to do tests by opening the pinhole in the evening during a full moon and closing the pinhole again in the morning. I have not yet been very successful with my tests. However, it seems that it would be a good idea to keep on testing.

Furthermore I would like to get the measurements of the air quality in Montréal during the three months when the finest solargraph from there was exposed in 2007.

At the end of the year 2007 the correspondence with Pawel Kula
He is the third inventor of solargraphy. At the end of the year 2007 he contacted me by email and sent the link to his website. www.peuta.republika.pl. The last time we met was in 2002 in Poland at the International Photographic workshop PROFILE´02 in Skoki. Correspondence with him and Diego has recently delighted me very much. What a nice surprise it was that Pawel, too, has visited the museum of Fox Talbot. Both Diego´s and Pawel´s tests with b/w papers compared with my own are interesting as well as the discussions about explanations and conclusions for the phenomena. The year 2007 is changing but our researches continue towards the New Year 2008. Solargraphy is too interesting and I cannot yet stop without finding good explanations and conclusions.

  Pawel Kula´s solargraph with colourful and curved sun paths.

With the solargraph from Montréal / by can assistant Christine Brault, I want to thank all participants for your collaboration with me. I wish you A Happy New Year and for 2008, joy, health and a lot of inspirations
Hope all is well in your corner of the world!

Tarja Trygg 31.12.2007