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Feature Image by: Bryce McQuillan

Learn to take beautiful macro images with bubbles

5th September 2017

Learn how to take beautiful macro images using a few household items with macro and wildlife photographer Bryce McQuillan.

Canon equipment for bubble photography
What you will need:
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Cooking oil
  • Small glass
  • A glass bowl
  • Coloured paper (anything colourful would work if you don’t have paper)
Papers for bubble mix

Step 1

Start with the bowl and the coloured paper. Tear the paper up into small pieces and place inside the glass bowl. The more coloured paper the better as this will create a great colour mix in your final images.

Tip: Tear up more coloured paper than you need, this will ensure the there are no gaps in the paper and create a great effect when shooting.

Drop paper into glass

Step 2

Once you have lined the glass bowl with colour paper, place the small glass cup inside the bowl on top of the paper. Make sure the glass is sitting flat on the paper.

Steps 3

Pour water into the glass cup to approximately half full.

Pour water into glass

Step 4

Add a cap full of cooking oil and a dash of dishwashing liquid to the water.

Pour Oil and Dishwasher liquid

Step 5

Stir the mixture to combine with a fork. The more you stir the smaller the bubbles.

Mix solution with a fork

Step 6

Set up your shot with your camera, if you need to steady your camera you can set it up on a tripod. 

To achieve the best results with macro photography try setting ISO to 200/400 and Aperture F8/F11.

Bubble solutions colours

Gear behind the shot

You don’t need a huge amount of gear for this, a macro lens and flash do make a huge difference.

To achieve these shots Bryce used his EOS 5DSR a macro lens and a 430 EXII speedlite flash

Using a macro lens allows you to get close to the detail and bring the tiny details to life. Using a speedlite flash allows you to take control of the lighting situation and get the clarity required for your shot. 

To see Bryce's final images, have a look at the image gallery below.

Find out more about Bryce McQuillan:

Macro images with bubbles
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