After seeing some images of bubbles by Richard Heeks posted on Facebook by a friend of mine, I decided to try my hand at it. My main goal was to capture the popping of the bubble itself and it took some trial and error to find the right settings, seeing that I couldn't find any guideline to do this online. I started by running around outside in the heat chasing bubbles skillfully blown by my assistant Jenny Pretorius, with camera in one hand and something to pop the bubbles with in the other, I was fighting the wind. Needless to say that didn't turn out to well and these two images are the result of that.
I then decided to take everything indoors to a more controlled environment. I used a black backdrop and started with only one flash and the result where getting closer but was not quite there yet. I brought in another flash and moved a few things around and got some desirable results. This set up created a speckled effect of the droplets while bursting. I thought to myself, if I used more ambient light I might get a more streaky result on the droplets. I moved in some continuous lighting, changed camera settings and took a few shots. This resulted in the effect I'm after but I was still lacking enough light to clearly see the streaking droplets, enter flash again. The flash was set up to give just a little hint of extra light and the result was final. Here are all the results http://www.danielpretoriusphoto.com/bubbles
I brought out some clarity and removed the long match stick used to pop the bubbles in post editing.
If interested here are the camera settings I used:
Shutter: 1/250 (flash sync speed)
2x Flash at 1/8 power
ISO: 2000 (yea I know)
2x 4 bulb diffused spider type light
1x flash ETTL mode -2 stop power
(high speed sync on)