Liquid Sculpture with Sound Frequency

Acrylic Colors on Subwoofer

Material & Equipment

Acrylic colors


Plastic cups



Garbage Bag

Duct tape

Music device

MP3 file (Download)

Audio cable

Macro lens (recommended)


Speedlight & Camera

Speedlight Settings

For this technique speedlight settings are more important than some of the camera settings itself.

I found that you need a speed of 1/20,000 second or higher to have a sharp image. This number exceeds the shutter speed of any camera that exists now in 2021. To capture something moving that fast we must depend on the duration of the speedlight. Some speedlights/flashes can go up to 1/63,000 second. Put in mind that your flash duration changes depending on the strength of the flash. 1/1 is the strongest and the slowest, 1/128 is the weakest and the fastest. To know the duration of your flash in each strength, grab your manual of the flash and look for the flash duration chart. Make sure to choose something around 1/20,000 or higher.

To make sure that your photo will be captured in that speed, you must shoot in a low light room, so your camera will make a black photo without flashes. In other words, your shutter speed won’t count anymore because the sensor doesn’t have enough light to capture an image.

If you are using different flashes make sure that all of them have (almost) the same duration, else your photo will be shaky. (Same duration does NOT mean same strength).

To get a black background, make sure that the background is at least 1 meter away from the subwoofer and no flashes are hitting the background.

If you want a colorful background, then you should illuminate the background with extra flashes or color gels and make sure that all flashes have the same settings.

Flash duration example (Red is slow & Green is fast enough)

1/880 sec. at full output.

1/1,100 sec. at M 1/2 output.

1/2,550 sec. at M 1/4 output.

1/5,000 sec. at M 1/8 output.

1/10,000 sec. at M 1/16 output.

1/20,000 sec. at M 1/32 output.

1/35,700 sec. at M 1/64 output.

1/38,500 sec. at M 1/128 output.

Camera Settings

Shutter speed: 1/160
Aperture: 10 or higher
Iso: As low as possible

Making The Mess

1. Put the colors ready in cups and mix it with some water till it feels like yogurt.

2. Prepare the subwoofer. Make sure the sound hole is facing up. Take one layer of the garbage bag and make it tight around the subwoofer with duct tape.

3. Connect the subwoofer to the music device and test the sound. The surface should quiver.

4. Switch the sound off. Make your design with enough colors on the subwoofer surface.

5. Make your camera ready on (tripod).

6. Use an object to make your focus exactly over the colors then switch the focus to manual.

7. Start the music and make a lot of photos