McCaw discovered his technique by chance after a night of revelry on a camping trip. “I usually set the camera up at night,” he explains
. “I woke up at like 10 in the morning, and the lens had been wide open. You can see the horizon line … and the sun coming up … burning a hole in the film.” McCaw has captured numerous different vistas using this process: in one, the sun’s ascent is charted in a clean arc across the sky. Sunburned GSP #687 (Pacific Ocean)
and Sunburned GSP #691
(both 2013), are almost polar opposites. In the former, a dark sun rises over a dark landscape, highlighted with a deep silver glow at the center. The coastline is barely visible as silhouette at the lower left and gives way to the ocean. In the latter, the sun is a thin, burned line in a white, snowy
. Here, the image is made entirely of subtly differentiated shades of pale gray.