The 100 Year Long Photograph: the Century Camera

“Experimental Philosopher” Jonathon Keats (Twitter)has a new project aimed at taking what they’re calling “photographic time capsules.” Instead of a time lapse in which multiple images are taken over time, it’s a single exposure taken overĀ 100 years. The Century Camera uses the old fashioned pinhole camera technique. It’s low tech, requires no batteries, and is easy to develop. Pinhole cameras work by allowing just a small speck of light to fall on photographic paper. The image is essentially burned in over time.

But what if the time frame was 100 years? Transitory images in the landscape would appear ghostly — but only if the building or tree stood in that spot for some time. People walking past would never be recorded. As a result, the longer the landmark on the landscape remains, the stronger the image.

It’s like viewing 100 years all at once.

You can buy one of Keats’ Century Cameras. For the measly equivalent of $15, on May 16th you can buy one, mount it somewhere, and come back 100 years later.

From the press release:

Mr. Keats does not plan to attend the 2114 event, as he’ll be dead.


Liked it? Take a second to support Michael Hainsworth on Patreon!

Leave a Comment