Mesmerizing Photos of Bubbles Just Moments Before They Burst

fabian oefner

Photographer Fabian Oefner indulges the simple event of the bursting bubble in his project called Iridient and turns it to art. Using the funnel of a sugar dispenser, the rainbow hued bubbles that exist only for a few brief seconds are frozen by the camera at two points: just scant moments before they rupture, and at the precise instant that they burst.

fabian oefner bubbles

What is a tiny, oft ignored incident of a bubble disintegrating is magnified into a glorious, wonderful occurrence.  Oefner points out that to capture this violent release of minute water droplets, timing is of the essence and can prove to be quite challenging requiring a lot of patience. It can take hundreds of photos before capturing the ideal burst.

fabian oefner bubbles photo

The event by itself gets some creative help from Oefner, as he applies specialized lighting methods with illuminated panels around the floating globes.  These reflect the surface of the bubbles in the rainbow of hues and vibrant colors.  The tiny violent explosions are enhanced by a special high speed flash that makes sure the rupture is captured in the finest detail. All this work and patience pays off, as the fleeting life of bubble soap bubble is documented in such a delightful way.

behind the scenes

behind the scenes iridient

Oefner drew Inspiration for the project from childhood memories of blowing bubbles. The Swiss art photographer from Zurich, saw the latent potential of this benign activity and transformed it into art, through this series of enduring photographs.


“With this series of images, I was trying to capture the beauty of these short-lived sculptures, which consist of 99% air and actually do not have any colour at all,” he said. “There are two major challenges, when taking images of bursting soap bubbles,” continued Oefner. “One is how to light the bubble, so that its colours become visible and second is obviously to capture the right moment.” See the incredibly simple, turned into the incredibly amazing, in Iridient here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.