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Three Solargraph Cans Launch New Year

The days are getting longer, and solargraphs are recording proof. On December 23, 2016, I and others climbed on rooftops and ladders to secure a pinhole camera at their respective sites. The next round of solargraphs are underway, and I encourage you join the venture with your own solargraph.

Building 84

Atop the former Studebaker Building 84, the wind blew away two previous solargraphs mounted there. This time, Greg Rhodes and I were aggressive with the duct tape. The vertical pipe on which the can is taped is the former steam line feeding the factory steam whistle, which could be heard for miles.

Four Winds Field

Next time you're at Four Winds Field (home of the South Bend Cubs) in South Bend, IN, look straight back from home plate and on top of the press box. On a frame around a platform is a new solargraph can. Box Office Manager Devon Hastings pulled the tape off of the pinhole "shutter," allowing sunlight to start striking the photographic paper inside the can.

This stadium's solargraph can is facing easterly, kind of like looking down the right field baseline. I'm anticipating widely separated sunrises in the east, as suggested by the final image from the east-facing solargraph on the roof of the St. Pius X Parish Education Center. Compare the east-facing result to the other south-facing results.

Actually, I had planted this can a couple days earlier, on December 23, but my fingers were so cold from taking down other solargraphs along the snowy roofline, and further numbed by duct taping this can in place, that I forgot to remove the electrical tape over the pinhole. A few days later I returned and Devon escorted me back to the rooftop. Here she has pulled the tape from over the pinhole, beginning the long-duration exposure.

St. Patrick's County Park

The day before the December solstice, I met with Evie Kirkwood, Director of the St. Joseph County Parks Department, to film a segment for WNIT television's Outdoor Elements program. I bumbled through the episode on how to make a solargraph, with Evie being a great host. We went outside and, with camera running, secured a can to a pole in the parking lot. Of course, that can was low and exposed, and susceptible to damage over time, so I put a ladder alongside the pole and secured a second solargraph can higher up. We'll see what lasts.

More solargraph installations are on the way. Contact me if you'd like to join the initiative in Michiana.

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