Monday, September 22, 2008

Planet Bubble !

Time : Some when near future.
Place : Some where on Earth.

A scientist is sleeping on his computer keyboard. He has been staring at his computer screen for days, hoping to get a signal from the unman spaceship, The Alpha, which were launched 20 years ago. The Alpha was set to the outer space into the Outer Rim of Sector Alpha, which located about 15 light years away from Earth. No signal were received from this probe ever since then. Everyone has given up hope on this probe, but one. He believes The Alpha will one day tell him what it saw.

His snore echo the whole lab. Everyone has left and never come back.....

All of the sudden, an long beep sound wake him up ! It's the signal from Alpha !!!

The scientist quickly key in the command in the computer in front him, so to receive all data transmit from Alpha !!

He is amazed by the pictures captured by Alpha... he is speechless !

He couldn't believe what he has saw ! The planet surface changed every second !!! He shouts out in thrill:"I've discovered a new planet !!!", but....
This story is just a friction. LOL.

These pictures are from a bubble. Yes, the bubbles we played with when we were young, when we blow it when we take shower. Pretty easy to shoot actually, the main key is the bubble solution. Uncle Google is kind enough to tell me the simplest homemade bubble solution available. The solution is as follows:

The ingredient is pretty simple: water, detergent and glycerine. Uncle Google says that I need to mixed 240ml of water with 30ml of detergent and 15ml of glycerine.

Ok, now the problem is where do I find detergent and glycerine ?

I do dishwashing. So, detergent is the Glo Pekat. Glycerine can be found as part of ingredient in most body shampoo or handwash detergent. With the Glo Pekat and some body shampoo, I have my homemade bubble solution !

Another problem: I don't have a measurement device to measure the volume ! Easy, one simple calculation shows that I need 16 parts of water to mix with 4 parts of Glo Pekat and 1 part of body shampoo. I used a chinese big soup spoon as my measurement device. Simple scop 16 parts of water into a cup plus 4 spoons full of Glo Pekat and one spoon full of body shampoo, and I'm done.

Now I have my bubble solution. Next, I need to set up my "space time" universe. The space time should be in black, pitch black. So, black seamless cards are my material. Simply stick one A3 size of black paper on the wall, and another piece of black paper under an acrylic board as base placed on a stool.

For lighting, I need a pretty big soft light saurce relative to the bubble. Hence, my Soft Box ver 2.0 come in handy. Some test shots done and I found out I need to have a pretty low room to create a broad huge soft light around the bubble. This is how my "space time" universe looks like:

Tripod is not necessary, but I would like to free my hand to do the bubble blowing process. The bubble did not last long. But it last long enough for me to captured it before it goes off.

Where to focus ? This is the trickiest part of the whole process. The bubble is so thin that my camera can't focus on any plan, instead it focus to the infinity. Manual focus is no help at all. By accident, I saw my room light's reflection on the bubble surface as shown below :

Ambient Light

That reflection of my room light is my focusing point. I just turn my focusing AF point onto the reflection and my camera has no problem to focus the bubble.

Camera setting wise, I set the shutter speed at 1/250s to ensure my pop-up commander flash was not captured in the photos, aperture at f/8 for sharpness, and the flash was at level 16 for fast recycle time. All photos here are direct from camera and cropping is done in an image processing software.

Why the plain looking bubbles could produce such a nice colourful surface under a flash ? Well, it's physics ! It has to do with the wavelength of the light travel across into the thin bubble wall. Different thickness of the wall reflect different wavelength from the light source hence produce different colour.

Well, this is another behind the photo thought to share. No secret behind it, just a simple set up and some understanding in flash control, everyone can do it without a problem.

Oh, one thing to add. To achieve the stunning colour change, a windy room is another ingredient. Windy room will change the bubble film thickness, hence create more colour shift !

Learn how to flash with off camera flash in


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男人 said...