The maker of the Solarcan has launched a new series of solargram cameras loaded with ready-tinted photo paper that will create colored images straight out of the tin. Solarcan Colours come in a choice of three versions to offer warm, cool or duotoned traces of the sun’s passage across the sky.

Solarcan cameras are literally a drink can with a pinhole drilled into the side and a sheet of 7x5in photographic paper loaded and sealed inside. The idea is to strap the camera somewhere outside so it is facing south and then to leave it there as long as you like while it records a trace of the sun everyday while it is in place. Once you can’t wait anymore you take the camera indoors, open it with a tin opener and retrieve the paper. The paper will show the image without processing, so you photograph it or scan it and then invert the image to get a positive impression of what you’ve recorded.

The longer you leave the can strapped to a tree or a pole the more sun traces you get, and the company recommends leaving it is place for six months from one solstice to the other. You can just leave it for a day though.

The Solarcan Colours kit includes (left to right) Eldorado, Atlantis and Nebula versions of the camera. These are the colors you'll see once the recorded negative is inverted in software, or via a smartphone app

The original Solarcan uses straightforward black and white paper, but Solarcan Colours uses tinted papers that deliver a color to the images without post-processing. Many Solarcan fans add colors to their digitized negatives in software, but the new Solarcan Colours have the shades built-in. The colors are:

  • Atlantis: Produces a cool blue finish
  • Eldorado: A warm, golden appearance with solarised halos
  • Nebula: A striking, duotone picture of the Sun and landscape

Inventor Sam Cornwell won't let on what's in the paper to give it the tints, but he does tell DPReview that the Solarcan Colour is half-way on his Solarcan roadmap—and that he has something 'big' planned for 2022.

Solarcan Colours is being launched via a Kickstarter campaign, as was the original Solarcan, and the company aims to deliver the first consignment in January 2021. Prices start from £39 (approx. $51) for a kit with all three colored cans, while the original black and white Solarcan is also for sale for £15 (approx. $20). For more information see the Solarcan website or the Solarcan Colours Kickstarter page.


Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.