I have been experimenting with long-exposure photography for several years: the insistence on patience is good for my over-enthusiastic nature. I make pinhole cameras out of tin water bottles, tea tins or beer cans by taping a delicate little pinhole over a rather large hole that I bash into the can. The pinhole is made out of sturdy tin and I sand the teeny pinhole to give it an even edge. By using b/w photographic paper, I don’t need to develop the image, only scan it.
Not all images are successful. Rain, high winds, and wildlife have all disrupted my cameras, and sometimes I mistakenly place the photo paper backwards. It’s part of the process, so I usually lock several cameras in place, and then remove them at different times. Several years into this practice I am discovering that the short durations such as a few weeks or months are often more successful – longer ones (such as a year or more) face more challenging weather conditions, like -30 temperatures in the winter.
I love the results. The image reveals all that stays still for the long exposure (trees, buildings), but not what has moved (wildlife, people). It does, however, show the constant passage of the sun. Many of these images show the passage from east to west: high in the sky during the summer and lower during the winter months. On days that it is cloudy the white line is attenuated.
“No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen.”
MINOR WHITE, MIRROR, MESSAGES, MANIFESTATIONS