Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Q Is For Quick (And For Quilly)

Thank Goodness For The Inner Child In Us All

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON



Some weeks ago, Quilly challenged me to shoot a butterfly in flight but our summer was such a scorcher that I didn't see a single butterfly in the garden. Rest assured I shall pick up her gauntlet as soon as they start to flutter by once more, but in the meantime here are the results of a self-imposed challenge that was infinitely more difficult.

These photographs of airborne bubbles were shot in our back yard recently. That's a pretty tough (but very interesting) assignment at the best of times, but there was a complicating factor that evening. The wind was so strong that when my trusty assistants (the Authorbloglets) dipped the wand into the bubble mixture, they didn't even need to blow the bubbles out.

The breeze whipped so strongly that the bubbles raced out at breakneck speed. So there I was thinking: "Just figure out which way it's blowing and then stand downwind. Simple." No, not so simple. The breeze, always a capricious factor in Melbourne, was swirling around constantly.


Some bubbles blew south, some bubbles blew north. Some flew down. Some flew straight up. Yes, my trusty assistants thought this was very funny.

The problem was complicated by the fact that I needed to shoot the bubbles against a dark background. Normally that would have been the rich, lush green grass. But after the dry, scorching summer we've had, there is precious little grass.

This left me two (very narrow) fields of opportunity. One was to shoot a flying bubble against the brick wall; the other was to shoot it as it whipped past the covered outdoor barbecue.

These images, like everything else I publish, are uncropped and unedited. Yes, they could have been in sharper focus. But what you see here are the best offerings from 29 frames shot very rapidly, with hilarious results.


For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

53 comments:

Jewels said...

Wow David. Those are amazing shots! I have no idea how to operate a camara other than to point and click, but I admit, since I've started visiting your blog I am interested in learning more. Now to find a camara (much research is needed, I really have no idea what I'm doing!!!).

immersion said...

Thanks for visiting my site, David. It's is like an open invitation to come over and visit your site. My first thought, once seeing the opening page was, "It's Wednesday already? I'd better go check my calendar!" and then it dawned on me. Duh!

The last bubble photo is very interesting. The background and the bubble sectioned by some reflection. Very cool.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

Okay, that's it. I'm throwing my camera to the Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk!

Shadow said...

a favourite pastime, then and now... lovely bubbles!

Daryl said...

Blown away, I am ...

Crystal Jigsaw said...

That is so beautiful, it reminds of my Crystal Ball.

CJ xx

Moannie said...

Gosh! just when I think you couldn't surprise me, you do. I have got to try that...but I shall wait for a quietish day, clip a dark cloth to the washing line and get JP blowing the bubbles. Then point and click, and it probably won't work, but be great fun to try.

lakeviewer said...

These are stunning, David. You captured the evanescence and the fragility so well.

Craver Vii said...

I just noticed the interesting symmetry in the reflections of the first and last photos. I need to go out and try that.

Ananda girl said...

I love the mirrored reflection in the last one. I can see you! Right side up and up side down. Very cool beans.

RuneE said...

One more thing to try out! They had a stunning effect.

lime said...

is that a reflection of a face in profile in the first bubble? fun shots and glad the process of capturing them was fun too. i have my own post about recapturing childhood today too ;)

Carolina said...

Wonderful shots! How transparent can be colourful ;-)

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

wow David... amazingly taken pictures...
do u conduct classes too?

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Wonderful, ethereal shots, David! Loved these. Bubbles always make me happy!

Sheila :-)

Maggie May said...

That was amazing. I loved the photos. Did I see someone's reflection in them?

AnjuGandhi said...

What an apt title to your post! All of us (age no bar) have a child inside us who peeps out now and then. The passion with which you have shot these photos is a reflection of your inner child who is eager to bounce up. Lovely photos …….. How I wish I could capture something like this!

Cheffie-Mom said...

LOVE these photos! Very fun! Bubbles always bring a smile to my face!

Mojo said...

Pretty amazing, especially under the circumstances!

But ya can't tell me you didn't have a blast doing it!

Mara said...

I love those bubbles. Great you managed to photograph them!

Sylvia K said...

Oh, David! those are delightful! And I, too, have been learning more about cameras from you and appreciate. A friend of mine bought me a new, more powerful camera for Mother's Day and I'm excited about shooting with it! Have a great week!

kadermo said...

Amazing photos. I have to try this some day.

Cris said...

I think I saw someone standing in the last picture? or bubble :-)

Jazz said...

Those photos are so cool.

Southern Drawl said...

Cool photos. I bet it is a lot harder than it looks; isn't everything? :) I love bubbles; they are timeless...

Thumbelina said...

That must have been so much fun. I would have to have blown the bubbles. Giggles would have rendered me completely helpless as any sort of photographer.

The images you got are excellent. Especially that last one. Brillinat challenge.
As for butterflies, I am trying to catch one sitting still never mind photographing one in flight!!I await that one with anticipation. (I have great faith in your abilities...)

Leanne said...

Great shots bubble blowing is so much fun. I hope you paid those hard working assistants well.

Maria-Thérèse said...

This is so strange.
I've had bubbles on my mind - well, not all the time, I'm fairly normal after all - no wait, I'm not - for the past few days now and I've been thinking of finding me an assistent to blow bubbles.
Or just do it myself and be very quick.

Nessa said...

Great bubbles. I love the colors and reflections. I will be waiting for butterflies, too.

Babooshka said...

Bubbles!!!!!!!!
Sorry but if anything is designed to bring out the inner child within it's bubbles in summertime. It's also the right letter. Yep I'm ahead of you all this week.

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Interesting, I like the one with the reflection most but they're all a great study. Bubbles are a bit lit shooting running horses...not easy! Hope you get a flutter going past your shutter soon! Luanne

Janie said...

That does sound like a tough assignment, with your little bloglets and the wind to "help." Great results, though. You managed to get perfect bubbles in spite of everything.

Rena said...

I'd say you did very well!! You even caught the colors beautifully. I'm sure it was a funny scene.

Artist Unplugged said...

What awesome photos! The last one is amazing, it appears as if the bubble is posing in front of the backdrop!

Joanne MV said...

I love the first photo of the bubble. Reminds me of a planet in the universe...hehehe.

Happy WW!

Hilary said...

Oh very cool. I love the reflections in that last one.

Travis said...

Trying to photograph butterflies and bubbles must be like...well, like trying to photograph butterflies and bubbles.

LOL!

Maureen said...

Wow, those are beautiful. And here I thought your BBQ cover was a photographer's drop sheet (or whatever the heck you guys call those curtainy things behind models).

Great photos!

Tumblewords: said...

Quite an effort - but surely it panned out delightfully!

Seamus said...

Excellent captures David. Were you on auto focus or fast fingers?

DrillerAA said...

This looks like an excellent exercise. I'll bet the grand kids will love being the bubble machine. Thanks for stopping by BrainFreeze. I really appreciate your comments.

Leslie: said...

Gosh, I just love them all...I'll have to try that but I'm sure I'd never get the results that you did! Even if your wind was a'blowin'...lol

Lew said...

Great catches! The colors in the first and reflections in the last add to these amazing images.

quilly said...

Sorry I'm late! OC has been away for a week and I had to go to the airport to get him, then I chose his company over blogging. Go figure!

I love the bubble shots! I may try this. It looks like fun.

Tessa said...

Spectacular!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

WOW! Gorgeous bubbles. What is it about bubbles that makes people so happy? It must be that childhood link, a reminder of happy, simpler times. Thanks, David :-)

Gennasus said...

What fabulous bubble shots! I haven't played with them for years, must do it again. Thanks for reminding me!

Kim said...

Bubble-blowing has been a big hit recently in our household. I love these photos. They would make lovely framed art pieces in a child's bedroom!

Tiffany Norris said...

Cool! Love the reflection in the bubbles, too.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Wow David what great photos you show us for this weeks ABC.

Take Care/ Tyra

French Fancy said...

I don't know how you managed to capture them so clearly - they would have popped by the time I'd shot the thing.

More about the bloglets please - family stuff is always interesting

jay said...

Oh, my goodness, I bet that was fun to do! And funny to watch, too!

Good job! I wouldn't get anything like those pretty bubbles in my frames, more like a fuzzy splodge!

shopannies said...

love bubbles as they travel along if they were as free as they are we could enjoy life