Frosty Bubbles

by Kevin Shank | Feb 1, 2023 | 0 comments

Frost patterns on frozen soap bubble
Frozen soap bubble. Photo © Don Komarechka.

The clear globe with frost patterns caught my eye. I had to do a double-take. Just what was I seeing? Patterns of frost were wrapping a clear ball that was perched on top of snow. Fun shades of color—gold, indigo, violet, purple, blue, a touch of teal, a hint of white—revealed the delicate textures of the frost patterns. Hmmm.

Don Komarechka was at it again! I have been fascinated by his work recording the intricate details of snowflakes, but this time frost crystals were his focus—and on a unique surface to boot. I’d have to take a peak.

Soap bubbles—of course! I chuckled. What will Mr. Komarechka think up next?

To try this myself, I used black Plexiglas® as a surface. I thought maybe I’d get fun patterns plus their reflection. The reality is that my bubbles went flat on the bottom, lacking the beautiful spherical shape.

To make the bubble soap, Mr. Komarechka uses six parts water, two parts liquid dish soap, and one part white corn syrup.

This photography works best when the temperature is cold—preferably between 15° and 0° F (-9° to -15° C). Bubbles freeze quickly, so you will need to work quickly. I used a constant light source to illuminate the bubble so I could focus rapidly, then used a macro flash attached to the end of my lens to illuminate the bubble during the actual photograph.

Frost patterns on frozen soap bubble
While my goal was photography, I was very intrigued by seeing these intricate designs grow and seeing how fast they grew. Even if photography is not your interest, I encourage you to make these simply for the enjoyment of watching the intricate crystals take shape right before your eyes. God’s creativity is on display. Photo © Kevin Shank.

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