Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate


I must admit I was really struggling with this weeks challenge. Most of my photographs are landscapes, rugged mountains, rolling hills, strong upright trees and clouds with lots of definition. Hardly delicate….

…and then I remembered this photograph of giant soap bubbles taken in Berlin.

Bubbles

From a photography viewpoint, the lady and child provide a reference point to give some idea of the size of the bubble. I have no idea who they were. It’s highly unlikely they will ever see this picture but if they do, please feel free to copy it.

Now for the science bit. What exactly is a soap-bubble? I think we all know that it’s a thin-film of soapy water enclosing air that forms a hollow sphere with an iridescent surface. However, whilst it has been known since 1884 that a spherical soap-bubble is the least-area way of enclosing a given volume of air (a theorem of H. A. Schwarz), it was not until 2000 that it was proven that two merged soap bubbles provide the optimum way of enclosing two given volumes of air of different size with the least surface area. This has been dubbed the Double Bubble Conjecture. Right enough of the science.

Soap bubbles usually last for only a few seconds before bursting, either on their own or on contact with another object. They are often used for children’s enjoyment. 17th century Flemish paintings show children blowing bubbles with clay pipes verifying soap bubbles being used as entertainment for at least 400 years. The London based firm of A. & F. Pears created a famous advertisement campaign for its soaps in 1886 using a painting by Millais of a child playing with bubbles. A Chicago company called Chemtoy began selling bubble solution in the 1940s, and they have been popular with children ever since.

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29 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

  1. Cathy Ulrich December 16, 2012 / 16:45

    Thank you for the pingback (Largeself.com)! And I love the idea of the giant bubbles for “Delicate!”
    Cathy

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:15

      For me it was a chance capture. I hadn’t intended to be in that area and in a way I just snapped the photograph. I knew it would come in useful some day

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  2. Sunshine December 16, 2012 / 17:42

    Soap bubbles are magical! Thanks for sharing. 😉

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:15

      Especially when they are that size….

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  3. patientgardener December 16, 2012 / 18:37

    wow that is a great shot – so hard to capture

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:16

      Fumnnily enough it was easier than I thought.

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  4. Jude December 16, 2012 / 18:47

    Amazing! I saw one other of a soap bubble this week. If these floated passed you you’d think we’d been invaded by aliens. 🙂

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:17

      They are large, probably too large because they don’t really float that much.

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  5. Allan G. Smorra December 16, 2012 / 19:09

    Great photo. We used to go to the Bubble Festival at SF’s Exploratorium back in the ’80s and one year a man actually walked through a bubble without breaking it. I haven’t thought about that until I saw this photo of yours. Thanks for the memory.

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:18

      You’re welcome and thank you for the comment

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  6. scrapydo December 16, 2012 / 19:19

    This is something different and delicate too

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:19

      Bubbles are delicate but I’ve just bought a bubble mixture where the bubbles don’t collapse. At least not for a long time, hoping to do some experimental photography with it…

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      • scrapydo December 18, 2012 / 19:05

        Sounds interesting!

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  7. eof737 December 16, 2012 / 20:53

    What amazing looking bubble… TY for the pingback.

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  8. Donna December 16, 2012 / 21:23

    It is funny how people can have such different perspectives. I have always thought of trees as delicate but I see the small details and usually don’t focus on the whole picture. I am one to always use macro. Your bubble is magnificent though. I love the colors in it! It reminds me of a rainbow ghost!

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:21

      I look at trees the other way, They are strong, can stand up to high wind, sure they might bend but generally they will spring back.

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  9. petspeopleandlife December 17, 2012 / 00:09

    Nice analogy and capture og the giant soap bubble.

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  10. stephenransome December 17, 2012 / 09:31

    Hi Mike…Delicate indeed, not for long unfortunately. Nice one

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  11. Cheryl December 17, 2012 / 13:16

    What a wonderful, whimsical interpretation of this week’s challenge, Mike. Love it!

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:27

      Thanks Cheryl. It was a lucky capture, taken ages ago, but I knew it would come in useful sometime.

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    • Mike Hardisty December 18, 2012 / 18:28

      Thank you…I’m glad you liked it

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  12. hugmamma December 22, 2012 / 06:56

    Awesome, as usual. 🙂

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