Most of us learned about pinhole photography in grade school. Matthew Allred of Utah has raised it to a high and entrancing art with his series, "Heliography," which features photographs exposed over periods of time as long as six months. Allred uses custom-built pinhole cameras and a special chemical process that prevents the film from bleaching out during such a long exposure to the light. As he explains on his website, this technique creates soft-hued photographs where "the sun appears to arc across the sky." There's also something wonderfully voyeuristic about Allred's images: The narrow aperture, combined with the length of time he observes, creates a delightful feeling of peering out at the world, as if a troll beneath a bridge, or a recluse through the window blinds.
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Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.