Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Solarcan is a unique camera designed to produce extreme time exposures that capture the Sun's path through the sky over many months
Solarcan is a unique camera designed to produce extreme time exposures that capture the Sun's path through the sky over many months
Solarcan is a unique camera designed to produce extreme time exposures that capture the Sun's path through the sky over many months
838 backers pledged £25,020 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Solarcan project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

£25,020

838

Creator's Note: Welcome to the Solarcan Kickstarter. This camera has been several long months in the making and its creation took more time and money than I ever thought possible. But now it's ready, with 1000 units prepared to be built! All I need now is a little help from you guys so I can take time off work and concentrate on the manufacturing. Thank you so much!

Born from a love of photography, art & astronomy Solarcan is a unique camera designed to produce extreme time exposures that capture the Sun’s path across the sky

Over several months of planning, designs, redesigns and one almighty learning curve we're finally ready to introduce Solarcan: a world first in terms of mass-produced solargraphy camera!

Take a look at the finished product... We think it looks quite neat!

Wait... What does it do exactly?

Don't be confused by the concept. In reality it's remarkably simple. All you'll need to get started is a sturdy post or window that faces the Sun. Everything else is included in a single Solarcan package!

Once set up the Solarcan will capture the Sun's path as it traverses across the sky. Every day the Sun will rise slightly higher or lower depending on the season and create a new path. Over weeks, months or even years, depending on your patience, a beautiful image will begin to form inside the Solarcan.

Here's some experimental images we've created with our prototypes:

 

OK, but how does Solarcan work?

Inside the Solarcan is a 5x7" piece of high grade Ilford photographic paper. Once the black tab (pictured) is peeled away, revealing the pinhole lens, light can pass through. Over time this will gradually scorch the path the Sun is taking through the sky. Because the Solarcan is machine sealed no liquid will pass through to damage the paper inside.

Once you've run out of patience (hopefully after several months) you simply remove the photographic paper from inside and scan or snap with a camera and invert to see your final image! 

What's really great is a complete set of instructions are included on the Solarcan body itself.

Right, but why does it look like a beverage can?

Neat huh? We're big fans of repurposing household objects and with the standard 440ml drinks can we couldn't resist. As it so happens the shape and size is a perfect fit for a standard paper dimensions. The camera's design is effectively ready made - however, sourcing virgin ones and the machinery required to make them complete was one of the largest challenges we had to overcome during the making.

What are the specifications?

  • Maximum aperture f/132
  • Field of view 160°
  • Media: Ilford Pearl 5x7"
  • Lightweight
  • 2 x 500mm cable ties
  • Cylinder box for safe keeping

Couldn't I just build one of these on my own?

Yes you could and we absolutely encourage you to do so if you have the supplies. Solarcan is a one stop solution whereby no extra tools, knowledge or photographic equipment is needed to create a stunning long exposure photograph. With the instructions on the side it's practically fool proof!

Who is the intended market?

If you're interested in creating art, science experiments, understanding photography more or even Space then this is for you. It is as much fun for children as it is for adults and even professionals. Ideally in the future some day we'd love to see them for sale in science museum gift shops! *hint hint, wink wink.*

Can I add one to my camera collection?

You sure can! Each one of the first 1000 produced will be numbered individually on the base of the Solarcan. Want a super-low number for your collection? Check out the special rewards to the right of this page.

Production images

Here's a few more Solarcan images which you are free to share on social media. Use the hashtag #Solarcan if you do so we can follow its progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Links

Hey, we're also on social media. If you're backing us we'd love to see your support there:

Thank you!

If you decide to back us, then thank you from the bottom of our heart. Creating the Solarcan and bringing it to a stage where we're confident enough to run a Kickstarter was an achievement itself. We also hope it doesn't end here and look forward to the building of a new community of like-minded experimental photographers, scientists and artists!

Yours faithfully,

Sam Cornwell. Photographer, artist, astronomer and now... inventor.

Risks and challenges

Risks & Challenges

Essentially Solarcan is a finished product! We have purchased all the machining tools, stock, labelling, equipment and have even borrowed as space for manufacture.

What we need now is enough time to realise its manufacturing which will require a lot of time working without an income. That's where your support will come in!

So, be assured that as long as we reach our funding goal, you will almost certainly receive your product within a few weeks of completion.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £12 or more About $15

    One Solarcan

    A single Solarcan, carefully packaged with all you need to capture the a unique photograph. Each Solarcan will be uniquely numbered and shipped in order of purchase.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 315 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £12 or more About $15

    One Solarcan: Phase 2

    A single Solarcan, carefully packaged with all you need to capture the a unique photograph. Each Solarcan will be uniquely numbered and shipped in order of purchase.

    Due to the unprecedented popularity of the single Solarcan pledge reward available from the first run of 1000, we've added a new reward.

    They're exactly the same, however the shipping date is pushed forward a couple of weeks.

    Production numbers #1001-2000

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 249 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £50 or more About $63

    The Five Pack

    Perfect for a group of friends or one adventurous individual with a need to capture several ultra-long exposures at once. Or maybe you just like a bargain.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 135 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £50 or more About $63

    Solarcan Production number 1 to 10

    Avid collectors may be interested in this. As each Solarcan from the first run of 1000 will be uniquely numbered the first 10 off the production line may be sought after. You'll also receive yours first and get that glowing feeling of having one of the very first Solarcans ever produced.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $63

    The Five Pack: Phase 2

    Perfect for a group of friends or one adventurous individual with a need to capture several ultra-long exposures at once. Or maybe you just like a bargain.

    Due to the unprecedented popularity of the Five Pack pledge reward available from the first run of 1000, we've added a new five pack reward.

    They're exactly the same, however the shipping date is pushed forward a couple of weeks.

    Production numbers #1001-2000

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 113 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £395 or more About $495

    Solarcan Group Workshop with Creator

    Are you part of a school, club or society that loves to learn and create? This super-pledge option will reserve a fun and informative half-day workshop with Solarcan creator Sam Cornwell.

    Practical activities will include creating your own fully functioning Solarcan from scratch. Understanding how the Solarcan works and tips and tricks on how to achieve the best images. Theory will touch upon astronomical knowledge and photographic history using Sam’s fun presentation skills.

    (Max 15 participants)

    Flexible dates available from August-December 2017.

    *Travel expenses not included

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Limited 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)