Analemma DelphiThe sun seems to rise from behind the hills near the Tholos, a circular building in the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia in ancient Delphi, in an analemma photo composite made in Greece in 2001. Photographer Anthony Ayiomamitis

“In the classic way, all analemmas were made on single frames of film using multi-exposure settings and placing a camera on a fixed platform,” TWAN’s Tafreshi said in an email. “Newer analemmas are generally made by placing the digital camera on that fixed platform and shooting a single image each time and composing all the frames later.”

It’s possible to make a classic analemma that includes the pictures of the sun and the foreground on the same piece of film—but that’s risky business, according to Tafreshi. For starters, safely taking pictures of the sun requires a special solar filter on the camera.

To also capture the Earthly landscape, “the photographer needs to make an exposure without a solar filter in day time (and usually when the sun is not in the view), and having this overexposed or underexposed will ruin the year-long work,” he said.