A Washington photographer has taken something as simple as a bubble and turned it into a winter art form.
Angela Kelly of Kelly Images and Photography, Arlington, Washington, took the photos over several days during a cold snap in the winter of 2013-2014 with early morning temperatures between 9 and 16 degrees Fahrenheit.
"I find that taking photos of ordinary things and showing their whimsical or uniquely beautiful side has helped my children to really slow down, look closely at their surroundings and to thoroughly enjoy something as simple as a drop of water on a blade of grass or the dew drops that line a spider's web," Kelly said.
Kelly said she used a homemade bubble solution with water, Karo syrup and dish soap that she found on the Internet.
"We quickly realized that using a mostly shady area was necessary in order to get the bubbles to freeze in their entirety and conversely using a partly sunny area allowed the bubbles to only partially freeze along the bottoms up to about the mid-point of the bubble," she said.
Using that information, Kelly and her youngest son set about with the idea that they wanted to see them in all different stages: frozen completely, half-frozen and only partially frozen.
"We were both awestruck as we watched how each bubble formed its own unique ice pattern as they froze," she said. "My son was amazed as I blew a gentle puff of air across the top of one bubble that had completely frozen and watched intently as it broke away from the surface it was on, rolled over and showed its shattered shell."
Her son said it looked like a hard-boiled egg shell that was broken in half.
The hardest parts of the photography assignment were getting the properly sized bubble and keeping it intact.
"As cold as it was during these mornings, the smaller bubbles would almost freeze instantly and drop like stones to the ground while the largest ones would burst immediately on landing."
Sometimes in our quest to appreciate beauty, we take for granted even the simplest treasures that can be found in our own back yard, Kelly said.
"I love being able to show others something that they have perhaps taken for granted and walked by too quickly to notice before. I hope that in sharing my work, it will help others to change their perspective and take the time to enjoy and savor the beauty around them in the most unfamiliar or surprising ways possible."
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