Exploratorium Magazine Online
picturing the body

Volume 23, Number 3

Need to print these activities?

© Amy Snyder


  • sun-print paper, 8" x 10" (available at most photo supply stores and at the Exploratorium Store)
  • bright sunlight (this works best around noon, from late spring to early fall)
  • pushpins
  • a piece of cardboard larger than the paper
  • your hand or foot
  • a tray of water

To Do and Notice

  1. Find a bright, sunny spot outside.
  2. Take one sheet of sun-print paper out of the light-tight envelope, and close the envelope back up.
  3. Use the pushpins to secure the paper to the cardboard so that it will stay flat. (If there's a breeze, you may want to secure the cardboard, too.)
  4. Place your hand or foot on the paper for two to five minutes, or until the paper turns a very pale blue.
  5. Place your tray of water someplace where it's out of the direct sun, and immerse the paper for about a minute.
  6. Place the wet paper flat on an old towel, and watch your image sharpen as it dries.

© Amy Snyder

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