KimberlyKaye PRO

Black and White Frozen Bubble





Contest Finalist in Ice In Black And White Photo Contest
Peer Award
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Outstanding Creativity
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All Star
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Magnificent Capture
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Superior Skill



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2 Comments | Report
KimberlyKaye PRO
KimberlyKaye March 07, 2019
Thank you both so much!!
KimberlyKaye PRO
KimberlyKaye March 10, 2019
Thank you! 😊

Behind The Lens

This particular image was set up and photographed on a deck railing right outside my home. I chose this location for several reasons. One, the lighting is in the perfect position in the morning hours for the height of my railing. Secondly, It can take a bit of time to get a bubble from start to finish before it pops. I wanted my set up high enough where I wasn’t causing back strain from bending over for hours at a time. I’m usually out a minimum of couple hours with the bubbles. It’s so fascinating to watch them freeze and when the weather is perfect it’s hard to stop shooting. And lastly these have to be photographed in pretty frigid temps and being at or close to home allows me to go inside periodically to warm up without worrying about my gear being taken.
I shot this early morning. I believe around 9am. The lighting was perfect for the height I was shooting at and the wind was going to pick up in the afternoon. This type of photograph is terribly difficult to do with any sort of breeze. Not impossible, but you definitely need patience and time if you attempt this with any wind/breeze whatsoever.
I use natural light when shooting freezing bubbles. And I always position myself where the light is coming in from behind and to one side of the bubble. With that position I find it really highlights the freezing pattern in the bubble.
With this set up I used my Nikon D750, Nikkor 105 2.8 macro lens, a batch of store bought bubbles for kids with a few drops of glycerin to help “strengthen” the bubble and a piece of Spanish Moss to set the bubble on. Typically with my macro work I use a tripod and shutter release cable, but this one was shot handheld.
I find inspiration literally everywhere. In this case it was our local news. Our weather man broadcasted a video from a viewer of a bubble trying to freeze. Unfortunately, there was a breeze and it popped. So our next bitterly cold day I attempted to photograph the process of a bubble freezing. To much success and enjoyment.
I did pull this image into Photoshop for some post processing. I shot this bubble in color and really wanted to see a few from that session in black and white. So I made that change in post and used the sharpening tool just a bit to really get the edges of that freezing patter extra sharp. I also played with the highlights and shadows a bit.
In my camera bag
What don’t I normally have in my bag is probably an easier question. I’ve been caught unprepared before with some great photo opportunities and missed some amazing shots and vowed to never let it happen again. So at any given time if you look in my bag I always have my Nikon D750 and Nikon D610 bodies. More times than not I have my 105 2.8 macro lens on my D750 and my 24-70 2.8 on my D610. I also carry my 14-24 2.8, 85 1.8, 35 1.8, 70-300 and a 24-85 kit lenses that have produced some pretty amazing shots. You’ll also find my manfroto tripod and shutter release, a variety of sizes of reflectors and diffusers, Wimberley Plamps and extensions, lens cloths and cleaner, a blower, Youngu speedlights or a ringlight, extra camera batteries and extra flash batteries, extra SD cards, a “rain coat” for my camera bodies, batteries, a map, a flower guide, a small squirt bottle, emergency money, mace, an umbrella (for the rain), a couple bottles of water, my press pass from NYIP (it’s actually given me an opportunity I wouldn’t have otherwise had so I never leave it behind), a portable cell phone charger, a slew of personal stuff, but most importantly gum! I can’t shoot without my gum. There’s a ton of other things I’m not listing, but this gives you a pretty good variety of what I carry around in my backpack. Yes, it most definitely gets heavy, but not as heavy as the regret of missing an opportunity for a terrific shot.
This is a really fun progect and I actually encourage anyone and everyone to try it. My suggestions are if you don’t shoot a lot of macro use a tripod and shutter release. There’s nothing worse than spending all that time and effort to end up with soft images. Also, when preparing your bubbles start with just a few small drops of glycerin to a cup of bubbles. If there is no wind and you find they are popping easily add a touch more until you get one to freeze completely. When you do, then you know you have a great concoction to work with. If it’s your first attempt at photographing a freezing bubble make sure there is absolutely no wind. Not even a light breeze. You can shoot these between wind gusts/and or breezes, but it gets frustrating and takes quite a bit more time. Just the slightest of a breeze can pop a freezing bubble pretty quickly. I’ve also done this on days with breezy conditions, with a DIY wind barrier that seemed to work pretty well. I used white foam board which also helps with light if it’s a dreary day. I’ve found the best temperature is between 9 and 14 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s not to say it won’t work at 20 degrees (I’ve made it happen) it’s just not ideal. They tend to pop a bit easier during the freezing process. When you’re ready to shoot get on the same level as the bubble and focus on the part of the bubble closest to you (the front). I use natural light so I tend to set up where the sun is coming from behind the bubble and to one side. I find it’s easier to focus on the freezing pattern especially at the very beginning stages of the freezing process. And it’s a great position to bring out that pattern for photographing. Don’t get discouraged if you have to blow ten bubbles just to get one to freeze without popping. I probably blew that many before finally capturing this one from start to finish. It takes some patience that’s for sure. This is always a fun progect for those cold winter months because you can literally set this up anywhere. I tend to stick close to or at home because I’m out for hours (because I just can’t pull myself away) and can head inside and warm up easily without having to remove my gear and set up all over again. Have fun with this one and bundle up!

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