Return of the Solarcan

A few years ago, I invested in a Kickstarter for a Solarcan – a homemade camera that captured the movement of the sun over a period of months. I bought five Solarcans in the process, and one of them actually produced a photo that eventually appeared at the New York State Fair.

American Dreamtime: Solarcan 368. Solarcan pinhole camera, 10-month exposure. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Oh yeah. I remember this well. Ten months of this capturing the path of the sun across St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.

So the other day, I received an email from Sam Cornwell, the creator of the Solarcan. He’s produced another solar-powered camera, one called the Puck, and offered it for funding on Kickstarter.

This is the Solarcan Puck, which you can visit at this link. Instead of a 40-ounce beer can with photographic paper inside, the Solarcan Puck is a small disc that holds a tiny piece of photographic paper. The Puck can be applied anywhere and used for a day or for months, to once again capture the path of the sun as it crosses the sky.

And unlike the original Solarcan, which was pre-loaded with photo paper and could only be used once, this item is refillable and reusable.

You know what? I don’t normally back a lot of Kickstarter projects. But I did back the Solarcan project, and it turned out well.

I’m going to get me a pack of five of these little treasures. So I purchased one of the Kickstarter goals.

The next day, I received a message that the Kickstarter Puck had reached its funding goal and was now way ahead of any surge goals. So everybody who initially backed the Puck would now receive a special window attachment, so the Puck could be added to a building window to capture a sunlit photo.


As for the five Solarcan Pucks I ordered, I have plans. Of course I do.

I’m thinking two of them can be used for the upcoming 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses.

And I might use two as part of a three-dimensional image creation – one for the left eye, one for the right eye, and combine the images in a lenticular capture.

Ooh baby. This is going to be funsies.

And if you want to get in on the Solarcan Puck project, the Kickstarter is still active. Go to this link to show your support for this little gizmo. You will not regret it.