The Solarcan PUCK! A Video Conversation with Sam Cornwell

By Hamish Gill

A week or so ago I interviewed Sam Cornwell from Solarcan about his current (already very successful) Kickstarter raising money for PUCK!

In case you haven’t come across Solarcan, as a brand they make solargraphy cameras. Up until now, they have taken a single form. The original Solarcan which has been on the market for a few years now – as you might guess – came in the shape of a can. If fact, if you put one in the fridge, you might be forgiven for mistaking it for a can of beer. Rather than containing beer, it contains a sheet of photographic paper. Also unlike a can of beer, it has a pinhole in the side. Simply peel off the sticker over the pinhole and place the can pointing toward the sun and leave it for a few days, weeks, months or even a year. When you’re ready, take it down, pop off the top, and pull out the paper. Unlike most photographic processes, this sheet of paper doesn’t need developing in chemicals. You simply take a digital image of it, invert said image and you have your final image.

The process is called solargraphy, and the product a Solarcan because the main feature of the images captured is the path of the sun through the sky. I actually reviewed the original Solarcan here (where you can indeed see the path of the sun… thought the composition isn’t exactly very good).

PUCK! is a new product from Solarcan works on entirely the same basis, but rather than come in a beer can shape, comes in a hockey puck shape, hence PUCK! As we talk about in the video, PUCK! is smaller, and allows the photographer to change the sheet of film more readily. This is unlike the original which is effectively a single use product. The benefit of this is not only that it can be used time and time again, but it also encourages shorter exposures. Shorter and more regular exposures would certainly have helped me… I would have found out my composition was rubbish in less than 6 months for a start!

We talk about all this in much more detail in the video, as well as talking  a bit about the simplicity and wonder of solargraphy as an activity that transcends just photography. We also talk about how he has and will always encourage people to try the DIY approach, and some of the challenges that Sam is facing bringing this new exciting product to market… not least how to cut many, many, (MANY) little disks of photographic paper.

Watch the video here (apologies for the F-bombs…????):

You can find out more, and indeed back PUCK! on Kickstarter here (11 days to go at time of publishing)

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About The Author

By Hamish Gill
I started taking photos at the age of 9. Since then I've taken photos for a hobby, sold cameras for a living, and for a little more than decade I've been a professional photographer and, of course, weekly contributor to 35mmc.
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