Playing With Bubbles




  1. a thin sphere of liquid enclosing air or another gas.
      an air- or gas-filled spherical cavity in a liquid or a solidified liquid such as glass or amber.
  2. used to refer to a good or fortunate situation that is isolated from reality or unlikely to last

Surely everyone loves bubbles right. My kids loves bubbles, and one afternoon of blowing bubbles the beautiful rainbow colors in the bubbles caught my attention, and I wondered if I could successfully photograph them. I think the answer to that is no, but I don’t think I did too bad.

Bubbles on course white background

I started out using a course white fabric as a background with a small studio light as lighting. This did not have the desired effect that I wanted. The background should have been ironed, so the creases distracted me. The rough weave also bothered me. I had hoped it would emphasize the smoothness of the bubbles, but it was just a distraction. This set up did offer the best shadows out of all of my experiments. The colors were slightly brighter on the material.

Round two involved two smooth white surfaces. I used two foam boards to create a small box, and lighting was toned down with the use of reflectors and strategically placed barn doors. The smooth surface was much less distracting and the muted lighting made it much easier to photograph the bubbles, but it also resulted in more muted colors in the bubbles.

In terms of the camera, I used my Pentax K-7 with kit lens, 28-90mm on a tripod. I manually focused roughly in the center of box and shot in Raw+JPG. I ended up processing all the images using the raw files with Adobe Photoshop Elements. After a bit of experimenting I focused on using shutter priority mode. 1/60 was sufficient to freeze the bubbles and used 400 iso.

Floating bubbles on smooth white background

While the images are there, it doesn’t pop the way I want. I just purchased a ‘bubble tornado’ that shoots out a massive amount of bubbles at a time, so I will definitely be making some time in the near future to do further experimenting, to see how far I can push to get some better photos.

Next week is a celebration of Earth Day.

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