Camera Geekery: The Solarcan

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by Bellamy /

3 min read
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Camera Geekery: The Solarcan
A while back we featured the Kickstarter for Solarcan, which turned out to be a great success. So much of a success in fact that it smashed its goal to teeny tiny pieces. As a consequence of this, Solarcan has gone big league and can now be found for sale all over the place, including museums! And for good reason, it is not only a fun photography tool but a great way to drop a bit of science on the kidz.

Because of the success Solarcan has been able to expand to offering workshops, educational material and a whole community of Solarcanners. From what I hear from Sam, there has even been a Solarcan in Space!
I have managed to get my hands on some Solarcans (I supported the Kickstarter, breaking my KS virginity) and I am really excited to try them out.

What is Solarcan?

The Solarcan is simply a camera that records the movement of the sun through sky over an extended period of time. Inside the can is a sheet of photo paper, which you can expose for as long as you like. It seems like the best results are captured over several months. Once you harvest your can you remove the paper, scan it, invert the image and Bob’s your mothers brother.

There have been loads of interesting Solarcan shots take, many of which you can see on the Solarcan twitter. It is great to see so much creativity too. I am now trying to find a decent place to put mine.

I mustache you a question

So who is behind the Solarcan? Well, that would be Sam Cornwell, who can be seen here sporting a very fine mustache. I certainly feel more comfortable knowing that my can was crafted by a man who clearly takes pride in his handlebars. Sam loves photography and astronomy, and he likes to tinker as well, which is great for us as we get things like the Solarcan.

Since the Kickstarter Sam has had the Solarcan featured on the TV in the UK and has redesigned the packaging too. They all come with a lovely little instruction manual and tips on where to place the cans. Which is something you do actually have to be careful with in some places, as they stay up for months and some people might think they are something dodgy. Either that or your local pisshead might try to drink it.
But if you have access to a decent view of the sky you are sure to have a lot of fun seeing the results.

Projects like this really warm my cockles, as they show a whole new generation that sometimes patience really pays off. Not everything can be immediate, which is part of the fun, the anticipation. If you want to grab some of these fantastic photography experiments then you can get them from the Solarcan site.

solarcan.co.uk
Instagram
Twitter
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And right now if you use the code streetpan then you will get £2 off each can! Brucie bonus!

JCH

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