Several years ago my wife and I got our kids one of those battery-powered bubble makers–the kind that sits on the ground with what looks like a turbine made up of bubble wands with a fan behind it to produce bubbles–and while its daily usage ebbs and flows, it keeps coming up when they need a fun outdoor toy. On a warm day in late August that’s exactly what our boys needed: a reason to get out of the house despite the heat and just blow off some steam. As usually happens they soon found other ways to use the bubble machine, putting it on top of a ladder, whacking bubbles with tennis racquets, and shooting these little colored circles high into the sky with my air compressor. I brought my D500 out to document the excitement, and after getting a few shots of the kids and my wife playing around in the later afternoon heat I found myself chasing individual bubbles to see if I could get a good shot of one.
Turns out it was a bit harder than I thought, for two reasons:
- Those bubbles would not stay in one place.
- As soon as I got close to one, it popped.
I ended up looking for slightly larger bubbles floating in the midst of the pack and then, with my eyes fixed on a single one, firing as many frames as I could before its beautiful but vapid existence ended with a slight piff. Autofocus was kind of unreliable because my camera had trouble even figuring out what to focus on, and the path of the bubbles was so erratic it was really difficult to even keep one in the viewfinder.
Nevertheless I did get a couple good shots, and this one ended up my favorite. I like how the bubble is isolated against a dark background, framed by bokeh balls with a bit of a starburst on the top right and bottom left. I also think it’s kind of neat that if you look really closely you can actually see me (or, at least, my blue T-shirt) reflected in the very center. The closest I’ve ever come, if I’m not mistaken, to putting a picture of myself here on Weekly Fifty.
I don’t know if there’s a metaphor here…maybe something about chasing your dreams before they disappear? I dunno. To me this just represents a fun afternoon with my family thanks to nice weather and a bubble machine. And some days that’s all you need :)