Solargrams in the light of Emi

Solargrams in the light of Emi

In May of 2016, as Matt and I were driving out to Los Angeles from Nashville, I found out that my friend Emily had passed away. 

It was a hopeless and helpless feeling being in the middle of the panhandle of Texas and not being able to do very much. And I felt so confused. We had plans for when I was back in Los Angeles to spend time together. There were projects we still wanted to collaborate on. Emily was a supremely talented and creative person. We really got to know each other well and became close friends as co-editors in chief of our high school yearbook. 

The only thing that Matt and I could really do with where we were at the time — Cadillac Ranch — was spray paint a Cadillac. (you can see more on my personal blog post about it here)

One of those unfinished projects we wanted to do together was create a solargram — essentially a photo taken through a pinhole camera that's usually in the form of a film canister or soda can.

As a symbol of the light that Emily was in my life, I decided to carry out this project and put together about 40 of film canister's worth of solargrams, then distributed them amongst my friends and family as part of their Christmas present in honor of Em and whoever might have been a light in their life as well. 

I duct-taped one of mine to the window in my bedroom and another one to the back window in the house and kept them there for about a month.

My friend Christian shared hers with me (she left hers taped to an office building window) and it definitely turned out the best. Mine doesn't have many details in it like hers does, but a huge part of a solargram is that it's not really to capture the details but actually the trail of light over the period of time it's exposed.

Process and results below:

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Christian's: 

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If you'd like to make one yourself, this website and this website have great instructions.

I'm so glad I could finally do this project. It felt like a little part of Emily was with me.

Emily + Brett

Emily + Brett

This is Sarah Beth

This is Sarah Beth