Capturing Colored Salt Thrown By Speaker Sound
Photographer Fabian Oefner creates amazing sculptures of pigment colored salt by placing it on a thin plastic foil stretched on a speaker. He calls them Dancing Colors.
The shutter is opened for a few seconds in a darkened room, and once the speaker starts vibrating the pigmented salt rises to the air, a microphone picks up the noise and triggers the flashes. This is a pretty typical setup for high speed photography. Low power is used for capturing sharp images, 4 strobes are used as key and another 2 as fill.
Here is how Fabien describes the process:
the salt is placed on a thin foil of plastic, which is wrapped on top of a speaker. as soon as the speaker receives a sound, the plastic foil starts to vibrate, forming these strange figures.
in order to capture the specific moment, where the pigments are lifted into the air, i attached a microphone to the speaker, which is again connected to the flash system. as soon as the speaker emits a sound, the microphone picks it up and sends a signal to the flashes to trigger them. since i took the images in a completely darkened room, i can just leave the shutter open for a few seconds, only the event illuminated by the triggered flashes is captured.
the shooting is very time-consuming since one has to clean the whole setup after every shot. it`s also a very messy business, everybody, who has ever worked with color pigments knows what i mean :-)
And if you are interested in the lighting porn, this is what the setup looks like:
you can see the speaker, placed on the table with the pigments to the left. flashes are placed to the left (main light) and the right ( fill light). The device, that you see in the right corner, is the trigger circuit,
which sends the signal of the mic to the flashes.
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.