bubbles and such.....

lucien

Hall of Famer
Hi, are there any chemicals that I can buy to make colours in water. I'm talking about the gasoline and water efffect. I think it would make interesting photos.. Other than gasoline are there any alternative that would produce the general effect? Part II, what's the best way to make bubbles indoors? Again another area I would like to explore for images. Just some dishwashing fluid and a straw? I would need a black background and external flash? And continuous mode instead of single frame shooting
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
Hi Lucien
If your thinking of the thin film oil on water rainbow like effect, then diesel, kerosine or perhaps engine oil would be better than gasoline. Gasoline evaporates fairly quickly & would produce dangerous fumes....
You'll want a very small amount of the oil, putting some on a piece of cloth or paper & dipping that into the water might be best. To get the effect the film must be only a few wavelengths of light thick.

When I tried with cooking oil it didn't spread enough to give colours but using the paper technique above might have resolved that.

Thankyou, you've suggested a good topic for when our photo workshop meets next month, it even fits in with the macro session we have planned for 25th :)

If your just after dyeing the water then many food colourings will work & this MIGHT give some extra effects when mixing with oil... Especially if the oils too deep to give good interference patterns.

With the bubbles washing up liquid & straw can work quite well. a black background would probably make for a clearer image, but it's not needed to see the effects. I think I remember hearing a drop of glycerine helps the bubbles last much longer. Colours tend to change fairly quickly so a flash should be an advantage. I suspect I'd prefer single frame.
 

lucien

Hall of Famer
Yes yes and yes. Great suggestions. It's been almost a week. I guess you didn't see it.

Thanks alot. And your welcome about the idea. Plus it's wintertime. Not much else to do

ps. engine oil is cheapest followed by kerosine. Any specific type of engine oil? Also there is a kerosine oil, same thing?
 
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Zapp

Regular
Location
southern Poland
Name
Darek
@lucien
If you are after colors on the bubble, than you need a film of something on the water surface.
When creating the bubbles out of washing liquid solution the glycerine will help to keep them longer, as mentioned by Mike above. It's needed to experiment a little for the best solution.
For the single bubble it's good to have light from the above, and black background.
Below are mine DIY, unprofessional trials, from some time ago 🙃
The setup below, a very simple one, was done with the laptop mounted above the bubble with white page displayed, serving as a light source. Solution was put in a bottle cup, bubble made with straw.

09201636lcDn-sC.jpg


09201711lcDn-sC.jpg


Eventually it ends like this ;)
09201744lcDn-sC.jpg


Or experiment with bubbles made in a glass, put on a laptop screen displaying the color:
09201753lcDN-sC.jpg


Or numerous other possibilities...

Have fun! :)
 
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lucien

Hall of Famer
yeah something along those lines. Where would you buy glycerine? hardware store? I see it's a moisturizer. Does it come in liquid soap? 2 in 1 solution, I would want the colours in the water as is not as a bubble, but I guess they are inseparable

thanks,
 
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lucien

Hall of Famer
why not use an external flash and shoot in cont. mode against a black background.? And blow the bubbles across the background? And have the camera on a tripod with a remote trigger? Then go through them for the keepers? Sound good? What shutter is suggested or it's all experiment?
 

lucien

Hall of Famer
I found propylene glycol as a substitute for glycerine? Is it as effective? And I can get straight glycerine at the drug store. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
Yes yes and yes. Great suggestions. It's been almost a week. I guess you didn't see it.

Thanks alot. And your welcome about the idea. Plus it's wintertime. Not much else to do

ps. engine oil is cheapest followed by kerosine. Any specific type of engine oil? Also there is a kerosine oil, same thing?
I doubt the grade of engine oil matters, a few drops of oil wiped from an engine dipstick would probably be enough.
There are multiple grades of kerosine/kerosene (both spellings are equally acceptable) In the UK we have odourless kerosine, C1/Premium kerosine & C2/regular kerosine all are oils so yes they'd be the same thing. The significant difference is in the aromatic content, lower aromatic fuels produce less smoke & tend to smell less.

If I recall you don't have a car, so you might want to try a few things you already have round the house: baby oil, cooking oil etc might work if you can get them in a thin film.

Propylene glycol is not too dissimilar to glycerine so may well work. I couldn't say which is best. A little experimentation is generally needed with this sort of subject even when following someone else's directions precisely. This could be down to unexpected variables like the hardness of the local water, but often is probably just vague descriptions.

The lighting used by @Zapp might have benefitted from being polarised (laptop screens are). I don't know if that makes any difference with soap bubbles but it does work well with a crossed polariser for looking at stress in clear plastics:
41468699545_98477c9206_b.jpg
stressed stencil by Mike Kanssen, on Flickr (shared elsewhere but using a laptop screen for polarised lighting)
 

lucien

Hall of Famer
I have ' liquid wrench' in a pressurized can and motomaster farm and truck grease. The grease is solid though. I don't think it would work. Lithium grease as well pressurized can. Would lighter fluid work? It's flammable though Last but not least 'clipper oil' :(
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
I have ' liquid wrench' in a pressurized can and motomaster farm and truck grease. The grease is solid though. I don't think it would work. Lithium grease as well pressurized can. Would lighter fluid work? It's flammable though Last but not least 'clipper oil' :(
I don't know Clipper oil, but I suspect it will be OK as will lighter fluid (probably less flammable than gasoline). lighter fluid is more volatile than ideal IMO.
 

lucien

Hall of Famer
Ha, I got the 946ml 5w-20 motomaster motor oil for gasoline engines $5.99, Glycerin usp 250ml a bit more than oil. I didn't know that glycerin expires lolz $7.99

have plenty of dishwashing fluid. Now I need the important item. STRAWS $ 0.1 :) I'll give the other things a try though, and if they work I get my money back :)
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
Ha, I got the 946ml 5w-20 motomaster motor oil for gasoline engines $5.99, Glycerin usp 250ml a bit more than oil. I didn't know that glycerin expires lolz $7.99

have plenty of dishwashing fluid. Now I need the important item. STRAWS $ 0.1 :) I'll give the other things a try though, and if they work I get my money back :)
I wouldn't worry about the posted expiry date. I've got bottles at work that will be stable for millions of years that show expiry dates a few years in the future. Once opened contamination may be an issue, but whats the date got to do with that?

Oxidation & UV might degrade your glycerin in time but for these sort of uses that's completely irrelevant anyway.

Good luck with your experiments & have fun!
 

lucien

Hall of Famer
update, I went to the local dollar store and they kind of have a section in the library for bubble making. It's a kid thing. I bought a pre made 'kit' and a few straws and it's exactly what I was asking about. for $1.25 fluid and all. I picked up a turkey baster and it makes even bigger bubbles. I'm going to dremel it in 1/2 take the top off and use that as well. It makes even bigger bubbles. Now, the bubbles have all the coloration I was looking for. Why did I need the glycerine ? It makes them last longer, Phase 2 doesn't involve bubbles just the 'oil slick' Work in progress. I even came up with another idea. A small fan can do all the blowing anyone needs to do. And there is a problem with the external flash, and cont. mode; The flash can't go above 1/250 and the refresh will kill continuous mode. Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't have an elaborate set up
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
update, I went to the local dollar store and they kind of have a section in the library for bubble making. It's a kid thing. I bought a pre made 'kit' and a few straws and it's exactly what I was asking about. for $1.25 fluid and all. I picked up a turkey baster and it makes even bigger bubbles. I'm going to dremel it in 1/2 take the top off and use that as well. It makes even bigger bubbles. Now, the bubbles have all the coloration I was looking for. Why did I need the glycerine ? It makes them last longer, Phase 2 doesn't involve bubbles just the 'oil slick' Work in progress. I even came up with another idea. A small fan can do all the blowing anyone needs to do. And there is a problem with the external flash, and cont. mode; The flash can't go above 1/250 and the refresh will kill continuous mode. Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't have an elaborate set up
Sounds like excellent progress!
It depends on your flash, one of my studio flashes set to 1/128th power, might keep up with 10 fps or so. But generally flash & continuous mode don't make good partners :)
 

lucien

Hall of Famer
i didn't know that you could do that. So if I lower the power of the external the refresh rate would increase? But wouldn't that negate the effect of having an off board flash.. Best I do it in broad daylight with a lamp and I even thought of just putting the bubble mechanism in front of a fan at high power. That way I can concentrate on the images? Good or bad?

thx,
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
i didn't know that you could do that. So if I lower the power of the external the refresh rate would increase? But wouldn't that negate the effect of having an off board flash.. Best I do it in broad daylight with a lamp and I even thought of just putting the bubble mechanism in front of a fan at high power. That way I can concentrate on the images? Good or bad?

thx,
You have to be in manual, and it depends on the flash. One of my older studio flashes only has 2 power settings, while hot shoe flashes are less powerful so their fractional power may become near useless. I don't think any of my hotshoe flashes could keep up.
I'm generally not a fan of shooting continuous, but it proves a godsend when shooting bursting balloons. One of my friends was shooting at 60fps & showed 3 successive images that were all very different, initial split, balloon completely split with fine water spray, fine spray gone. It's no wonder so few of my efforts showed the fine spray.
 
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