Says JZ: "The photos you see here are simply pictures of soap. It’s really fantastic which you can find in a soap bubble or in a sheet of soap film." m that starts to show its incredible colors after about 20 seconds or so."
"To take these images," says Jim Z, "I made a small wire frame from a coat hanger. I wrapped it with soft foam material, so when I dipped the frame into a bowl of soap, the foam absorbed the solution and kept the sheet of soap film alive for about two or three minutes. That gave me plenty of time to take the pictures.
"The soap I used was simple bubble solution that you can buy it in a toy store or Wal-Mart. Kids blow bubbles with this stuff, but if you buy a quart size you can fill a bowl with it and then dip the wire frame into the bowl. When you lift the frame out, there is a sheet of soap film that starts to show its incredible colors after about 20 seconds or so."
Here are more specifics on photographing soapy color abstracts:
- Use a black background.
- The sheet of soap film has to be reflecting a large white surface, so I used a studio soft box place about 18 inches away from the wire frame. You could easily use a white sheet with the flash placed behind it, or you could also use a diffusion panel that you can get from any photo outlet.
- Angle the sheet of film so that from the camera’s point of view, you can see the white fabric.
- I used a small lens aperture (f/32) and a macro lens to fill the frame with the incredible color. Depth of field is an issue because the back of the camera is oblique to the plane of the soap film, so use the smallest lens aperture you have available.
- This was obviously done with off-camera flash, so you need some way to trigger the flash when it is placed behind the white fabric. I used a Pocket Wizard to do this.
NOTE: Jim Zuckerman teaches many terrific online photography courses at BetterPhoto.com, including Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography, Taking the Mystery Out of Flash Photography, and Techniques of Natural Light Photography.