The Story

A roof party was declared just after work. Of course beers would be supplied. Definitely an essential item for sunny weather and masquerading on the office roof! My work colleagues expressed a need for a group photo. In some kind of appreciation for the free beers.

Using the only camera I could grab, the Pentax Zoom 70 I took the shot. It’s analog and equip with only homemade Redscale film. I guess when I do finally present the image after bathtub film development in the tiny apartment, it should and I hope raise some questions, why is it red ? but that’s another blog post for another day.

Roof party – Redscale Fuji Superia

Back to the main story,  after a couple of cold ones were downed. I gather up several tins for the next crazy photography fueled adventure. The idea here was to do some Solarigrafia or Solargraphy.

What the heck is Solarigraphy?

Solarigraphics or solargraphs are pinhole photographs taken with a lensless pinhole camera with a long exposure. By doing so the invisible movements of the Sun can be made visible in landscapes. Source

Solarigrafia, solarigraphy, solargraphy is a photographic method for recording the paths of the Sun. Solargraphy is the art of pinhole photography and a part of Space Art, too.

All I had to do was get some photo paper, black card paper, a beer tin and naturally a pin. How hard can it be? – Once the beer can was emptied which was a very much voluntarily action on my part. Everything else fall into place including myself!

The plan is to leave the beer can camera out over the summer, approximately 3 months to let the sun create and burn onto the photo paper. This will leave a negative image over time. Note: the photo paper is photographic paper and not what you’d put inside a inkjet printer.

So I decided to write some instructions below how-to do the smaller pinhole cameras, as there’s a video below on how-to do the beer can pinhole.

How to make small pinhole cameras for Solargraphy

While I made 3 beer can cameras, I thought it prudent to make smaller inconspicuous pinhole cameras too. Using film canisters. I made two of them.

What you need:

  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Scissors
  • Black Tape
  • Thin copper plate or Aluminum plate from a can.
  • Film canister
  • A drill
  • Fine needle.


Take the copper plate a put a hole in the middle using a very fine needle. The hole should be approximately 0.2mm in diameter.

Using a drill make a hole in the middle of the film canister, as shown in the image below. Also blacken around the pinhole, then tape into the inside of the canister ensure to align the pinhole with the larger hole.

Pinhole camera using a film canister. Drill a hole in the middle of the container

Now blacken also around the pinhole from the outside  and inside too. Using the permanent marker.

Pinhole camera using a film canister. Blacken the pinhole with the marker


Pinhole camera using a film canister. Align the pinhole to the larger hole

Once that’s done, you’re ready for the photographic paper. Cut a piece the length just short of the length of the canister ensuring not to black the pinhole. Insert the paper close it up and you’re ready to go.

Place your camera in a place where there’s good chance of sunrises and sunsets. I placed mine at night as there isn’t many folks around to ask questions what I’m doing!


Somewhere in Graz on a signpost, there’s a pinhole camera

If you live in Graz, you’ll probably figure this out where it is.


The results can be found here – Solargraphy in Graz, Austria


Source :

How to make the Beer Can Camera

How do I rate this experience

As there’s no results you’ll need to wait for the next blog post in about 3 months concerning this subject.

Fun Factor:   7
Build Quality:  Depends on how much gaffer tape is used!
Ease of Use:  Simple Simon can do it.