Photographer Uses the Sun to Physically “Burn” Images
Utilizing a homemade camera and the solar system’s brightest light, Chris McCaw makes an image.
Sunburned, GSP#389. Taken at Puget Sound. Photo by Chris McCaw
We’ve all heard of burning—or the act of giving a portion of one’s image additional exposure time, whether it be in Photoshop using the funny-shaped hand tool, or in a physical darkroom. Well, photographer Chris McCaw is taking the traditional concept of burning to the extreme. Instead of giving a portion of his prints an increased exposure, he is literally utilizing the sun to physical burn his photographs in a project he calls Sunburn.
Utilizing a homemade large-format camera, Chris takes 2 to 8 hour-long exposures of the sky that track the sun’s movement. The exposures are made on traditional black and white paper either 20×24 inches in size or 30×40 inches in size.
According to McCaw, it is not unlikely for holes to physically burn in the photo paper or for his camera to actually start smoking midway through the exposure. Head on over to NPR.org to see a full gallery of McCraw’s prints.