by daniel fishkin
I went to Times Square with some electronics I built that convert light waves into sound waves. I used photodiodes, which are actually tiny solar batteries. When light shines into them, they generate voltage. Many electronic lights are actually flickering off and on faster than the eye can see. In the place of a normal microphone, the photodiodes let us hear this flickering as pitch.
I built these sensors into a preamplifier circuit and mounted it to the camera base, so that you can simultaneously look and listen to whatever light you’re filming. What you see is what you hear, with no special effects or processing.
Here's a picture of the photodiode camera rig:
I don’t usually like being in a place like this, but the “sound camera” has a transformative power; like a skateboard, which turns the parking lot from urban wasteland to paradise.
all editing, filming, circuits, everything by me, daniel fishkin.
Key Grip: Wilder Alison
thanks to: Bob Bielecki, Stephen Vitiello, Eric Archer, Sparkfun Electronics, John DuQuette, Yabla Inc., Derek Holzer, Daphne Oram, Jeff Stark, and everyone I caught on film.