Stephan Savoia, Associated Press
Jonathon Keats poses holding a version of his "millennium camera" designed to make a 100-year-long exposure on the Amherst College campus Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Amherst, Mass.

AMHERST, Mass. — If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Jonathon Keats figures a picture can also span a thousand years.

The San Francisco writer and self-described experimental philosopher has designed a "millennium camera" and hopes to chronicle climate change by taking a 1,000-year exposure of the Holyoke Range in western Massachusetts.

Keats says the camera is meant as a window into what geologists call "deep time," long periods in which the world changes on a dramatic scale.

The small pinhole camera is made of copper and instead of film, will use a sturdy organic oil paint to capture the exposure.

The camera will be mounted in an old steeple at Amherst College.

Keats admits he's not certain the experiment will work or whether anyone will be around in 3015 to open the camera.