Photography’s Longest Exposure
Six months. That’s right. This dream-like picture shows each phase of the sun over Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge taken during half a year. The image was captured on a pin-hole camera made from an empty soda can with a 0.25mm aperture and a single sheet of photographic paper. Photographer Justin Quinnell strapped the camera to a telephone pole overlooking the Gorge, where it was left between December 19, 2007 and June 21, 2008—the Winter and Summer solstices. (That’s a 15,552,000 second exposure.) ‘Solargraph’ shows six months of the sun’s luminescent trails and its subtle change of course caused by the earth’s movement in orbit. The lowest arc being the first day of exposure on the Winter solstice, while the top curves were captured mid-Summer. (Dotted lines of light are the result of overcast days when the sun struggled to penetrate the cloud.) Quinnell, a renowned pin-hole camera artist, says the photograph took on a personal resonance after his father passed away on April 13—halfway through the exposure. He says the picture allows him to pinpoint the exact location of the sun in the sky at the moment of his father passing.