Light compass

Capturing Floridian sunlight

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The clear Floridian sky provides great conditions for capturing solar light. It is envisaged that light levels in Florida can be measured and captured mechanically via methods such as the camera-obscure and photometers. Enclosures with specific openings and diffraction will be used to construct light chambers where the sun light can be captured and record. Slices of the Floridian sky light will be captured and stored in a greyscale negative print.

Travelling through Florida light recordings were taken through the three photometers. A light compass was designed to be used as a compass to help find the best orientation for the light capture (south) as well as a timer for the light exposure. The light compass is positioned 3 meters away form where the photometers would be exposed. It is located so that it faces directly south at the point of the installation. The light meter rotates to follow the earth’s orbit around the sun.

Capturing Light-27After both elements (a,b,c) are set up on site and the sun is shining the set is ready for the light capture. Each photometer is taken out of the box in turns. The photometer is held at eye level where the viewer opens the cover of the 2 way mirror and looks through the photometer to the light compass (d). The 2 way mirror does not allow much light to enter the enclosure as the light levels outside are much higher. The viewer looks thought the opening to the light compass to see when the sunlight is reflected straight through to the opening. This reflected light is even brighter the surrounding light levels which means even less light can enter the photometer from the 2 way mirror. Once the reflected aligns with the eyesight line of the photometer the light shutter is opened, and once the sun reflection passes away from the eyesight the shutter is closed, thus giving a 3 second exposure.


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