I think at some point most of us were probably given a small tube full of a soapy liquid. Within lay a short stick with a loop on one end, from which if you blew a stream of bubbles came. Hours of fun till the liquid ran out then is was a case of raiding the washing up liquid to make some more. The rainbow colours as the light caught the bubbles was always different. Recently a friend and professional photographer whilst in isolation took some macro images of bubbles that inspired me to take a journey and try the same. The end result was very pleasing. Its been a learning curve and an enjoyable one in the search to get something I was satisfied with.
So the first thing you need is a bubble and one that doesn’t just burst straight away. You would be surprised at the amount of info there is on the internet for bubble recipes. Which I am not going into but here is a source that covers many of the aspects. https://soapbubble.fandom.com/wiki/Soap_Bubble_Wiki
The next thing was the setup. Something to blow the bubble, contain it, light and of course photograph. The later I used my Nikon D750 with 24-70 f2.8 that was the easy part. I had heard for the bubble container the rear lens cap was a good size and being black that would help me too as I was going to photograph it with a black background and plastic mat under the container so as not to get bubble liquid everywhere!
I don’t have a Softbox and the direct flash would be too harsh. A quick look round and an unused canvas of my sons was just the job balanced on 4 plastic cups on the table.
So I thought I was done and started blowing bubbles taking images. The focus needed a little adjustment but between the focus ring and shifting the tripod I soon had what I thought were some good images.
First Attempt – Not bad but…….Harsh black reflections from objects.
However what I had not thought about was the bounce of the flash source light off walls, camera and even me. Yes I was in the bubble images, as was everything else in the room if you looked closely!
I started searching the web for a cheap Softbox that could be delivered quickly but that In Covid-19 lock down at this time was not going to be possible. So a cuppa tea was needed.
The answer was thankfully simple when you stood back from the problem. 4 pieces of card stood around the flash blocking the light source from bouncing off any of its surroundings.
The addiction of Bubbles.
The colours in the bubbles are addictive, you catch one bubble then the next seeing the colours change almost constantly along with the pattern, till the moment the bubble bursts and you have to blow the next one.
Generally the images were a little under exposed, which was intentional as too much and the top of the bubble would have been blown out and the colour lost.
The images were processed using lightroom on an iPad. Increased the exposure and adjusted the white and black levels. Added a little contrast before sliding the saturation a little higher along with the texture slider.
For me though I wanted to capture the crown of the bubble where the colour was focused. To do that I would have to get a little closer, either but cropping or use the macro extension tubes I have. Tubes at the ready it was!
Moving the camera in closer and once again it took a little time to get the focus right but totally worth the extra time and effort.
Adding a little colour in front of the flash and boy it took it all to another world. Or is that worlds?