Alan Kiecker, QPSA  

Frozen Bubble by Alan Kiecker, QPSA

February 2021 - Frozen Bubble

About the Image(s)

When it gets cold enough (well below 0F), when a bubble freezes the ice forms some very interesting patterns. This morning it finally reached well into the minus numbers (it has been unseasonably “warm” in Minnesota this winter) that it was time to make my first attempt at photographing a frozen bubble. I set up a shop light in my garage, opened the door (so it would be colder than the garage usually is), and gave it whirl. I made a mixture of 1 cup water, ½ cup liquid soap,1 tablespoon glycerine. This was put into the top of an overturned coffee mug (has a depression) and with a straw I blew some bubbles. Exposure was a guess so I bracketed both sides of what the camera thought was best, focused the best I could, and took some photos. Surprisingly the frozen bubble lasted quite a long time allowing me plenty of time to compose and focus. All photos were roughly at 1:1. This one was my wife’s favorite.

Nikon D810, 105mm micro-Nikkor lens, 1.0 sec @ f/32, ISO125. Processed in Lightroom and Topaz DeNoiseAI.

3 comments posted

Graham Fisher   Graham Fisher
Very interesting Alan. at first glance it looked like a pair of old sunglasses trapped under some ferns. I love the detail of the dendrites in the ice. Great capture!   Posted: 02/15/2021 19:36:30
Alan Kiecker   Alan Kiecker
Thanks Graham. This has been a fun exercise. I have continued taking photos as long as the temperature has been cold enough. The cold stretch has passed so I think I have to retire this project until next winter. The biggest problem is reflection of the light(s) in the bubble. Since the bubble is a sphere it is nearly impossible to avoid reflections and hence hot spots. I have tried to minimize the intensity of the hot spots by using HDR. I have tried using Photoshop to eliminate the hot spots but this has proven to be problematic at best. I have attached on of my favorite photos. We have a salon topic of "Abstract" coming up in April that I will probably enter this photo.   Posted: 02/18/2021 13:54:24
Comment Image

Fred Doerfler   Fred Doerfler
Nice sharp image and exposure. I have tried doing these. I have found a variety of recipes online and some do not work as well. It seems there is a proper recipe for a certain temperature and maybe event the humidity makes a difference. I will try your recipe. Overall, i find this image to be a very good image of a tough process.   Posted: 02/22/2021 20:12:34


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