For once in my life I am dying for some cold weather and snow...but only if it lasts a day or two. I have two things I really really want to do. First, my Mother-in-Law made us an AWESOME snow man kit (it seriously is the best), and I'm dying to use it. Second, I really am intrigued by this pin that has been going around Pinterest and I want to try it out:
The Original Pin
Original Photographer: http://kellyimagesandphotography.webs.com/
We've been sitting in unseasonably warm weather (not bragging or anything...okay, maybe a little), so testing this out in it's entirety isn't really possible, but I did find a wikiHow article that says you can do this in the freezer. It just takes 30 minutes. So, while I go mix my bubble solution and test the freezer method of this out, we have a Pinstrosity submission on this from Mary:
It was freezing cold in North Carolina this morning [January 7]!
No, really! That is a frozen pond behind us. OK, so it's just a little layer of thin ice coating the top, but still. And maybe our 10 degree weather at 8:00 am was still a far cry from the wind chills in the -50s in the Midwest, but it's not every day it gets that cold in NC.
With record lows all over the country, everyone in existence seems to have been pinning this:
The idea is that if it's below 32 degrees and you blow bubbles outside, they will immediately freeze and make for beautiful, magic picture taking.
It did not work as planned.
Now, to be honest, I didn't actually read the article before I tried this. I just pinned a few pretty pictures, grabbed some tiny bottles of bubbles we had left over from Easter baskets and ran outside with them and a camera. But all I really got was . . . bubbles. Normal old bubbles. The blobby soapy kind that float through the air and eventually pop. They certainly didn't freeze when they hit the air, and (although pictures with bubbles are always fun), the resulting photographs weren't exactly magical.
After we tried this little experiment, I read the article to see if I'd done something wrong. Was it not cold enough? According to the article, the original bubble-blower completed this activity with her son when it was 16 degrees, so 10 degrees should have been plenty cold. Did I not use the right kind of bubbles? The original article does state that they "mixed up some homemade soap and sent bubbles soaring." Well, I just used store bought bubbles, not homemade soap, so that could have been a factor. Still, other similar pins like Life Hack #915 claim, "If your area is ever below 32 degrees this winter, go outside and blow bubbles! They instantly turn to ice!" without directing you to use any particular type of bubble or soap.
At the end of the day (well, morning) we still had fun blowing bubbles and taking pictures by the frosty pond, but the bubbles certainly did not "instantly turn to ice," nor were there any intricate ice designs or magic fairy tale shapes.
Sad day. Well...not completely. Can bubbles be sad? But sad day that they didn't turn into awesome frozen bubble crystal balls.
I'm not sure why Mary's bubbles didn't freeze. At first I thought it was possibly because of her store bought bubble solution rather than homemade, but Tammy at Housing a Forest tested this and says that store bought solution and homemade solution performed about the same. She also said, "Ok so I was expecting to blow bubbles and feel like I was standing in a winter wonderland with frozen floating orbs all around me. Ha! I think that Pinterest made this one look so easy that I never assumed that we would struggle to get a bubble to actually freeze. About 1 in ever 15 bubbles that we blew actually froze. We were surprised by that since it was -33F. But don’t get discouraged, we had a blast experimenting and will be trying it again soon. I just think my expectations might have been a little distorted;)"
Here are Tammy's tips for getting bubbles to freeze:
Here are Tammy's tips for getting bubbles to freeze:
I also found a forum where photographers were discussing and testing this. Here are the tips that forum poster giantmike gave (some relate to the bubbles, some to photography):
Things I learned from 3 minutes of playing (that's all the time I had):
1. I need a better soap solution. The one I have doesn't make good bubbles. I am going to look into adding Karo Syrup, to see if that strengthens the bonds.
2. We had a spell of warm weather which made the snow icy. Whenever a bubble hit the ice topped snow, it would shatter. I need some fresh/soft snow to hopefully make these fall gently
3. At these temperatures, the sun shine didn't seem to matter. The article talks about the sun instantly melting the bubbles, but it's too cold for that here :)
4. Having a second person to blow the bubbles while I run around with the camera could help a LOT.
5. A gelled wireless flash in one hand could be useful for lighting the bubbles in interesting ways.
Later he also added these tips:
1. Big bubbles are the enemy. They are weaker than smaller bubbles. Big bubbles popped when they hit the new soft snow of today. The little bubbles more often stayed for a bit.
2. It's really helpful to let the bubble solution cool down. If you have it at room temperature (70F), it takes a while to freeze down to -10F. Instead, if its cooled down to 40F, that is a lot less cooling needed to freeze the liquid.
3. The Karo syrup recipe worked ok, but not really that much better than store bought bubbles.
4. Manual focus is your friend, as these bubbles didn't give much to focus on (at least not with the light from overcast skies)
Still are a little leery of this? Here are two YouTube videos where you can watch the bubbles freeze.
So there's video proof of this happening. It can work.
So now let me tell you how my freezer test worked.
I made my bubble solution out of water and baby shampoo. It took me a few tries to get a bubble to not pop on the plate. I learned that smaller bubbles were better than large bubbles. At last I had a bubble on the plate, so I carefully stuck it in the freezer and gently shut the door. 1 hour later (I sorta forgot about it...), I opened the freezer door and...
So I took the plate out of the freezer to see if the camera would focus with the plate on the counter. Pretty quickly the bubble started shriveling up...and this was all I got on the camera.
But bubbles it did work to freeze the bubbles in the freezer. No, it wasn't as cool or pretty as if it were outside and I could watch them freeze, but it was cool to see a frozen bubble anyway.
Have you ever tried to make frozen bubbles? Did it work?