Photographing soap bubbles on a frosty lawn

I have just spent an hour or so, much to the amusement of Mrs_Sciencebase blowing soap bubbles and crawling around on the frost-covered lawn in the back garden with a camera loaded with a macro lens. The bubbles were made with washing up liquid and water and a couple of drops of glycerine (suggested by Mrs “Sb”) to make them persist longer once formed.

Pre-freeze bubble nestling in the grass

We couldn’t find a proper bubble blower so a plastic spanner for some long-forgotten nut was substituted. There’s an art to blowing bubbles. You have to know how much soap solution to load into the bubbler, you have to know how hard to blow, at what angle to project your breath, and so much more. I got a few to form but most popped (silently) before they found a perch on the frozen lawn.

Frozen bubble

One or two landed only to pop, again completely silently, once I’d got the camera in place to snap them. Intriguingly, a couple of them had already started to freeze and rather than popping seemed to sag and deflate leaving a gelatinous husk on the hoary blades of grass.

Hoary blades of grass nudging the freezing soap bubble surface

After spending a good hour freezing in the garden, it occurred to me that I could’ve done the job indoors any time of year and simply used the food freezer. But, I’d persevered in the cold and was desperate to get at least one photo of a frozen bubble however transient the soapy sphere might be. And, in the end, I did, can’t say I’m lathered with the effort but then its absolutely cold out there.

Frozen bubble burst