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Evaluating ColorEdit

Bubble color or "color profile" provides very important information about the bubble juice, information critical for mixologists tuning their bubbble juice. In order to see the colors, however, you need appropriate conditions. Typically, you want diffuse indirect light (such as is provided by a cloudy sky) and a dark background. Against a dark background, the bubble colors will seem bright and saturated due to contrast with the background. Against a light-colored background, the colors are difficult to see clearly.

Below are two pairs of bubbles made using the same bubble juice. In one photo of each pair, the color profile is easy to see, but in the other photo the profile is almost impossible to see due to the conditions.

The first pair of photos use the same juice but were taken at different locations at different times of day. The first photo was taken early in the morning with a very cloudy sky. Only diffuse indirect light was present, and the background is dark.

C egoo hec mongrel 6 CROP 2012 10 29

With the right conditions, the bubble colors can be seen clearly. Juice: eGoo/HEC hybrid with excellent lighting conditions. Approx dilution: 24:1 (water:detergent)

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The colors of this bubble can't be evaluated properly due to the lighting conditions. Juice: eGoo/HEC hybrid.

 

The photos below were taken just moments apart from different vantage points. In bubble 1, the color profile is easy to see. The photographer has moved and bubble 2 is taken against a light background that washes out the bubbles colors.

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Bubble 1. Two bubbles made with the same bubble juice photographed moments apart from different angles. Dilution: approx 16:1 mix includes guar gum and other polymers. (Photo: T. Poersch). Click on photo to zoom.

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Bubble 2. The same juice and sun angle taken from a different angle.

 

IntroEdit

If you are a bubble juice brewer or mixologist, evaluating bubble colors is a critical task. I had been making bubbles for several years before learning the importance of color evaluation and the importance of the right environment for evaluating them. It was something that for some reason was not discussed by bubblers. Those early explorations would have been much more fruitful if I had understood that the bubble colors convey critical information about the bubble film: the colors are a map of the soap film's thickness. As discussed elsewhere (see Dilution and Color and Film Thickness), adjusting the soap film's thickness allows you to optimize the solution for the conditions and your equipment.

Bubble colors are not always easy to see well enough to evaluate them. So, it is important to find a place to make bubbles where the colors can be properly seen.

Odds and EndsEdit

A great experiment that would greatly benefit us bubblers would be if someone were to set up many cameras at different heights and angles photographing (video would be best) the same bubble against the same nice background in order to illustrate how the angles cause a shift in colors.

Wayne Schmidt's Color StudiesEdit

Best Lighting for Soap Bubble Colors01:28

Best Lighting for Soap Bubble Colors

Wayne Schmidt has explored many issues related to giant bubbles and created some videos that do a good job of illustrating the issues of bubble color evaluation and lighting.
 
How To Blow Giant Bubbles Part 302:32

How To Blow Giant Bubbles Part 3

Wayne constructed a black backdrop to improve the color evaluation even more. Find out more here
 

See AlsoEdit

If you are trying to optimize your bubble juice, these related articles are critical to understanding the relationship between dilution, color, film thickness and related factors such as size potential and longevity.

Color and Film Thickness - soap film colors give very specific important information about the bubble thickness and is closely related to the soap concentration in a way that most people find counter-intuitive.

Dilution - Dilution/soap concentration has a critical impact on the bubble longevity, colors and size potential. If you are trying to optimize your bubble juice this is a critical topic.

Dawn Pro Dilution Evaluation - This article illustrates Dawn Pro-based bubble juice at various dilutions. Use these examples to help you tune your juice and determine the equivalence between your detergent and Dawn Pro.

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