We learn so much about photography when we play. The photo above is a simple bubble but the view is magical.
Here’s what you need to create this photo.
1/8 of a cup of water, 1/8 of a cup of dish liquid, 2 tablespoons of glycerin, small dish, long straw. Lightly mix the three liquids in a small dish. Lightly mix is the key.
Put the dish on a black background.
Camera on a tripod with a lens focused to minimum distance. I used a Canon R5 with a 24-105mm lens. Shutter release is helpul but off-camera flash is the magic. Camera in the Manual mode, f/16, 1/200th of a second shutter speed, ISO 500, flash at ETTL. This means that your flash is going to do the work since the camera’s light meter won’t be balanced.
Put the straw in the liquid and slowly blow. Your goal is to create one bubble. If you blow fast, you get lots of little bubbles. One bubble and slowly blow to make that bubble bigger and bigger. The bubble will stay for one or two minutes thanks to the liquid solution.
Things that will drive you crazy are (1) reflections from overhead lights, (2) reflections from nearby windows, (3) reflection from the flash.
My advice is to “work it” to get rid of all those reflections. Turn off the lights, set-up away from a window, and hold the flash to the side. If you have a softbox handy or diffuser handy, then use those.
Nature does not stop during this time of Covid-19. I was self-isolating and working in my garden when a monarch butterfly flew by me and laid eggs on a nearby milkweed plant. The eggs were so small that it was hard to show them of my husband and my neighbor.
My husband, Gary Clark, decided to write about monarch butterflies for his weekly Nature column in the Houston Chronicle. I provide the photos for his articles so that meant I needed to take a picture of the extremely tiny monarch eggs.
Plan 1 —
I started the process of photographing the monarch egg by bringing the pot with milkweed inside.
For my first try, I used a 70-200mm lens with a Movo reversing adapter. This allows you to put your lens on backwards and shoot through the end of the lens that usually attaches to the camera.
Reversing the lens allows you to focus close and get higher magnification.
In this photo you see a flash on the left, flower pot with the milkweed, an artifical background held in place with a Wimberley plamp, milkweed held in place with another Wimberley plamp, and the camera lens.
The egg is not big enough and focusing is hard so I have to try something different.
Plan 2 —
I leave the Wimberley plamps in place and the flash in place.
I change the lens to a Canon 24-105mm lens. This is not a “high magnification” lens but I’m going to make it one.
I add a 12mm extension tube and a Canon 500D close-up lens. This is a filter and not a lens. It goes on the front of the lens and allows you to focus super close.