Soap Bubble Reflections

I photograph soap bubbles. I’ve often thought about writing a blog about how and why I photograph soap bubbles, but I never know where to begin. So I’m just going to leap into talking about reflections here. Soap bubble reflections are incredible. Here’s my favourite soap bubble reflection. I took this photograph in 2008, using a Nikon D40 and a basic 18-200mm Nikon lens:

Soap BubbleThe image quality of this reflection is probably the best I have seen.

OK, let me try to explain this reflection. What I love about this reflection is that you can see me and the tree very clearly. I think this is because I have focused towards the front of the bubble, and this has meant that the reflection is coming somewhat from the front surface of the bubble. If I had focused in the centre of the bubble (i.e. inside the sphere, at its centre) I think the reflection would come equally from the front and the rear, and the reflection would seem more ‘double’. That is, you would see an upside down me just as clearly as a right way up me. It looks more confused, like this:

DSC_2350 editWhat is fascinating, here, is perhaps (I’m not a scientist – I’m not sure of this) that the reflections don’t simply come solely from a surface, but rather occur between surfaces. The surface of a sphere being a complex thing, and yet perhaps also simple (a sphere is simple and complex). Visually, the reflections are extraordinarily complex for us (i.e. me) to comprehend. I think that’s why they fascinate people. And yet again, what could be more simple than a sphere? A sphere is one of nature’s basic forms.

I will leave it there for now. Food for thought!

You can see all of my bubbles here on flickr.


About rjheeks

From 2008 to 2013 I completed a PhD on Discovery Writing. I also love photography. I'm best known for photographing soap bubbles. I also like rock art (ancient art/markings on rocks). I live near Ilkley (Yorkshire, UK) where there are quite a few pieces of rock art.
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