Magical Frozen Bubbles
Have you seen those magical shiny glass dome frozen bubbles? Did you know you could EASILY make some yourself?
All you need are the ideal weather conditions and a simple recipe. After a couple years of experimenting I have finally crafted bubbles I can replicate.
First let’s talk about the weather conditions. If these are aren’t just right nothing else matters.
In Colorado we are blessed with many cold winter days that are ideal.
Temps well below freezing are best. I found under 25 degrees to be cold enough but closer 20 is even better.
There needs to be ZERO wind. The slightest breeze (including you moving or blowing) will pop these fragile creations.
A glint of sunlight brings the shimmer alive. Sunrise or sunset when the sun is on the horizon are perfect. The great thing is in the winter those times don’t feel like too late or early. However if you have the right temps and no wind an overcast day can be used to practice your recipe and technique.
The recipe is a simple three ingredients: water, dish soap & corn syrup.
Some people use glycerin but it is hard to find in stores and I didn’t think the bubbles were as stable. Some have also suggested adding in some sugar to form different shapes in the freeze patterns.
According to the Karo Corn Syrup site the ideal ratios are:
6 parts water (I found warm water to work best)
2 parts liquid dish soap – Dawn brand is an internet favorite
1 part corn syrup
Play with the recipe until you find what works best for you. I used much less water so the mixture was thicker and easier to work with.
To form the bubbles I have a wide straw like you would get for a milkshake. I tried to mark the end that my mouth touches as it’s easy to forgot once you are outside and cold.
Blowing the bubbles takes time to perfect. I found blowing slowly then pulling the straw gently from the bottom out worked best.
Consider the surface the bubble sits on also. A wood fence, a rock, or a table all work as long as they are at outdoor temperature too.
Once a bubble is formed it will slowly start freezing up from the bottom edges. Position the sun behind the bubble so it glints off the surface and start photographing. Take photos of all stages of freezing as the pattern continually changes. I prefer to take the photos at an angle level with the surface they are on, but definitely experiment with angles and backgrounds.
Of course as a pet photographer I wondered how to incorporate my dog in the bubbles. “How about like a snowglobe?” I thought.
A quick search in the app store and I found just the right program called Blend Me Photo Editor for free! Simply choose your fav bubble photo from your phone and your fav photo of your dog. Chose a background color or photo. Use the sliders to feather edges and position the dog (or cat) photo inside the bubble.
The entire process of mixing, blowing, photographing and editing can be seen on this handy YouTube tutorial I filmed. Enjoy!