A personal project: Can you photograph global warming?


I live on Portsdown Hill overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. The elevation of my house is probably 400 feet above sea level. One of the consequences of that is when I look out of my house I see an ever-changing large sky.

A couple of years ago I began to wonder if I took a photograph of the sky every hour for a year (24×365=8,760) and put the images together in a grid of (24×365) what it would look like. Assuming that I started the series on the longest day of the year (21 June 2018) the basic image (illustrated in monochrome) should look something like this:

Stating the obvious, during the summer the sky will be brighter and bluer, whereas the winter will be darker and greyer. So maybe I will get an impression of the weather throughout the year?

What if I take pictures for a succession of years? Perhaps there may be some visual change in the appearance of the sky? Who knows.

Practical considerations

Clearly, if thousands of unsupervised images are to be taken each year there are issues of equipment reliability, data security and power continuity. To address these issues I purchased a new Canon 5D mark iv camera which benefits from having dual card slots. So hopefully that ticks off the reliability and data issues. In terms of power continuity, I purchased an external power supply and a Powercool ups. The images are being recorded in a small jpeg format so data volumes will not be an issue. He are some pictures of the setup that has been running for more than 18 months.

So where is the project at?

As of writing this blog the camera has recorded 13,749 images. That’s one per hour for 572 days. So far so good. Once I get some time I will investigate how to put these images together.

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