Don Poggensee finds a new photographic challenge, getting pictures of soap bubbles in winter’s cold

IDA GROVE, Iowa, Feb. 20, 2016 — “I had been wanting to try photographing winter soap bubbles,” Don Poggensee tells us.  “I had seen a few images on the Internet, and they looked like a real challenge to record with my camera.” When the weather gave us some bitter cold recently, he decided it was time to try. 

“First, you need a toy soap bubble gun, filled up with a small batch of soap mixture,” he said, adding he found instructions online to follow.  “Get some liquid soap like Joy or Dawn, some distilled water and a small amount of glycerin or light corn syrup like Karo — that will make the bubbles harder to break. 

“Then you wait for the right temperature.  I found that 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit seems to work best.  Also, you want calm or very light wind so that your bubbles don’t takeoff on you.  With the bubble gun, you shoot the bubbles up in the air, and they should freeze before they land back on the ground.”

He said he purposely aimed the bubbles so they would be landing on snow cover, and he also targeted some toward bare grass and others toward pine needles.  If you include some blue sky in the background, or some direct sun, you often will see colors in the bubbles.

“If most of them break, it might be your mixture, or the air temperature might be too warm,” he said.

He said if it’s too cold, your bubble gun will freeze up in just a few minutes.

“It helps to have someone shoot the bubbles for you, so you can be ready with your camera,” he said.

He notes if you look closely at his bubble photos below, you can see his image in them, taking the photographs.


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