Monday 26 August 2013

Day 26 - August Challenge

Challenge - "Sound 26th (in colour)"

Suggested by - Mark via Twitter


How to photograph sound.

1. Take a cardboard tube.
2. Fasten a balloon tightly over the end.
3. Stand tube onto speakers of a radio or similar.
4. Place camera on a tripod and set for a long shutter speed.
5. Place a few grains of sugar onto the balloon.
6. Turn on the sound - the more base the better.
7. Fire camera shutter.

The grains of sugar appeared to dance due to the vibrations. The long exposure allowed the moving grains to be recorded, whilst other grains remained still. (Don't ask me to enlarge on the technical bits - I failed Physics!)

Further experiments may be carried out to see if there is any correlation with volume v height jumped. (But it would be courteous to inform neighbours first about possible noise disturbance) Too much sugar on the balloon prevented the grains from jumping as the vibrations were muffled.

So, I picked some bright colours for you Mark, and did a little bit of DIY home science in the kitchen today. Utterly different from my challenge yesterday - but that is HOW I like it!

What were the grains dancing to? "Harder To Breathe" by Maroon 5
(I know - it should have been the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" but the sugar seemed to like it!)

The grab shot

My thanks to:
Mark for the suggestion

Tomorrow, Day 27

"Cafe Racer"


  1. Well of course you'll at some point need to test different songs/music in this way: what is the sugar's response to Beethoven's 5th, or AC/DC, or Deep Purple, or Justin Bieber. My guess is that it stays absolutely still with the lat of those. :)

    Seriously, really excellent idea, cleverly executed.

    1. Now that would be real science - running a control test and yes I think we all might freeze on the spot in terror with the last one ;-)


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