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Photographer Captures The Life Of A Soap Bubble

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Switzerland-based photographer Fabian Oefner explores the art of bubble-bursting using high-speed flash photography.

In his stunning photo series entitled ‘Iridient’, he waited patiently and captured the life of a soap bubble—from its creation to its ‘death’ (moment of bursting).

“In the first few images, you can still see the bubbles intact, few instants after their creation,” the artist writes. “In the last pictures, you see how the thin film of soap starts to disappear, leaving behind countless tiny drops of soap water.”

He uses a funnel of a sugar dispenser to create the soapy air pockets—capturing them in their famous spectrum of colors, and the moments before and after the rupture.

The two major challenges, according to Oefner, were lighting the bubble so that “its colors become visible”, and capturing the right moment.

“A soap bubble is made of a thin film of water, on which soap molecules gather on both sides. The vibrant colors, that bubbles are famous for, are created by the reflected light hitting the surface of the bubble. So the bubble itself has no color at all,” the artist explains.

To make these reflection effects, that create the colors, visible, I had to place lights around the bubbles from all different sides. The reflection of the illuminated panels around the bubble (as seen in the first image) are reflected inside the bubble, creating the colors.”

To capture when the bubble started to burst alone, took him a couple of hundred shots.

“It happens extremely quick,” he writes. “In most cases, the bubble was already gone when the flashes went off.”


“But eventually one gets a sense of when the bubble bursts and the success rate of capturing the right moment starts to increase,” he adds.

[via Fabian Oefner]
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