Teaching Materials - Exercise

Tail of the sun

Name of Artist Educator: Thomas Lin
Excercise Category: Technical exercise

If time is intangible, how shall we prove it?

Concept / Inspiration:

If time is intangible, changes could be a proof. Tracing the movement of sun is like visualising the flow of time. Solargraphy is a way to capture the traits of sun. With the use of the handmade pinhole camera and the photo paper, the movement of the sun or even the changes of the weather from time to time could be seen.


To make a pin hole camera for taking solargraphs with the use of cans or carton.

Materials / Equipment:

  • ILFORD black and white multigrade paper
  • Cartons
  • Cans
  • Paper
  • Black Duct tape
  • Cutter and scissors
  • Needle


Classroom and at home

Workshop Description:

Part 1│Making carton pinhole camera
Pinhole camera:
Pinhole camera is based on the black box principle. It takes place in a dark room with one single light source. This allows the image outside the sealed environment goes into the sealed space. For the carton pinhole camera making process, please click the image below for instructions:

Part 2│Taking solargraphs
(Exposure time: it could be two weeks or years, i.e. half a year, one year, there is just no time limit.)
1. Students bring back the handmade camera and take it home. Choose a place that faces the sun and put the camera there.
2. The pinhole faces the sun. Remove the duct tape of the pinhole after fixing the position of the camera.
After two weeks, take out the photographic paper in a dim environment. Use a camera to take pictures of the images on the photographic paper and transfer the digital file to computer. Photoshop it to reverse the black and white and adjust the lightness. Then student could be able to view the results.

Actual Outcome:

Photo paper is a material that would react with light. Therefore, students have to make sure that the paper would not be exposed to any light before usage.







Reference Materials:

About Solargraphy: