I'm working on perfecting a photography technique right now that I've never actually seen done before. Based on the readings of a technique called Solargraphy, in which one documents the tracks made by the sun using a homemade pinhole camera and photographic paper as a film medium, this method I'm developing now harnesses a similar quirk of the photo process.
Photographic paper, the stuff that black and white photographers use in the dark room, is usually extremely sensitive to light, as it is developed and fixed in chemicals that bring out an image captured in a matter of seconds on the paper. But because it is so light sensitive, photographic paper also darkens when exposed to sunlight, which (in a sense) overexposes it to the point of visibility. Solargraphy utilizes this same quirk of the paper to let it act as a negative, capturing an image over the span of a matter of months. But Solargraphy uses a tiny pinhole, which lets in a minuscule amount of light. What if you used an actual camera, with a wide-aperture lens?
This is the result. Each one of these images takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to capture, depending on how bright the sun is. The "negative" that is created on the photographic paper is extremely impermanent, due to the fact that it cannot be fixed to halt any reactions that might occur. You basically get one chance to scan in the negative, after which the negative becomes even more faded from the light in the scanner. The images created with these methods are ethereal and oddly timeless, using unorthodox techniques to call back to a time when photography was much more inconvenient and difficult to master. It's a far cry from the digital cameras that we're so used to now, and it really makes you appreciate just how special the art of photography is.
I'm not sure I'd say that I invented a new technique. In all honesty, I'm not that clever. Someone must have done this before me, I simply can't find any record of it. Still, on a personal level, I came up with the idea on my own. And sometimes, experimentation of this sort is worthwhile to achieve results such as these. There's nothing fancy about this. No film is used, no developing is needed. Chemicals are unnecessary, and you only get one shot to get things right.