Saturday, November 19, 2011

Black Old Sun

This started as one thing and ended up as another, as often happens! I experimented with a hand mirror reflecting direct sunlight--I was amazed to see that the sun seems to actually burn into the film and shows up black in a reversal.

I had a giant scan made of a polaroid image recently, because it was selected to be on the cover of a forthcoming book. More on that later. Turns out it makes a pretty good big image, after all. I've been wondering how to incorporate some of these polaroids that I love and that can never seem to be repeated in a film version, no matter how hard I try. But now I see, I can just let them be. I'll just make big scans of them, clean off the dust, and have them printed, eventually..


  1. I turned my living room into a camera obscura three weekends ago, just for a day. I'm no Albelardo Morrell, that's for sure, but I amazed my neighbors.

  2. Hi Joseph, That is so cool! It is actually harder than it seems to make the image sharp, no? I did that once with mixed results. I should try to do this with Ollie sometime. Where did you find instructions?
    Thanks for the feedback about the dynamic template, it was a little bit too much, and missing some important feature..

  3. Rebecca, I just winged the process. I had done it once before in MD when I had an art studio that only had one window--much easier to do than my current apartment with three windows in the living room and one in the kitchen open to the l.r. But I covered all the windows with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil (it actually has tiny holes!) and then draped a large white sheet over the opening to the kitchen--this is where the majority of the projection showed up. I had intended to keep the foil up for a few days so others could see, but it made too much noise during the windy nights here in Chicago, and I found myself awake at 2am tearing it down. It's best on bright sunny days, as the winter shadows do not project well.

    In MD we tried to photograph the result, but we were not skilled enough to do so, and Morrell didn't offer us any clues. The noise on the camera is a big challenge in the darkness, but you're more skilled in that area than I will ever be.

    People are awe-struck when they experience it. A child must be doubly so.