Hand through flat soap bubble

A flat bubble is made from a mixture of water, dish detergent, and glycerin by dipping a wire frame into the mixture. The frame with the bubble is held above a dark surface, and a studio flash with a ‘softbox’ is aimed at the bubble. The camera is aimed so that the reflection of the flash will be seen over the entire surface of the bubble, and a photograph is taken of that reflection, showing a swirling pattern of colours.

Interference between light waves reflected from the front of the film and the back create a shift in colour. Small variations in thickness of the film show up as different colours. By wetting one’s fingers with the solution, it is possible to poke a finger or two through the bubble without breaking it. Oils from the skin cause black patches to appear, and heat transfer causes the fluid to move and swirl in unpredictable ways.

David Elfstrom
Toronto, Ontario
1st Prize ( Open Category )
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