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Transparent Magic: Bubble Overlays & Brushes

Over the years I’ve spent a small fortune on soap bubbles.

I’ve bought the little bottles, the long tubes, the battery-operated bubble machines…. And yet, I was never able to get good looking bubble shots. Often the bubbles would fly too low or in the wrong direction. I’d have too many, or too few, or the bubble solution would simply spill out onto the ground —or worse, on my model or client.

When I visited in the Netherlands last August, I needed small props that were easily transported. Once again, I purchased a few bottles of bubbles and wands.

I had plenty of shots — I’d tried different poses, different bubble blowing techniques… but nearly every image also included awkward facial expressions or less than impressive bubble results.

To solve this issue, I decided to create my own bubble overlays.

I didn’t make these overlays in Photoshop. I got out my bubble blower and using a variety of different f/stops, took a variety of shots to accurately depict how the bubbles looked in natural light. It wasn’t easy. I’d worked on bubble overlays almost a year prior and wasn’t happy enough with the results to release. So I re-worked everything until I was happy with the result: Bubbles that were easily added and looked like they were actually in the original frame. Plus no more leaky plastic containers and awkward blowing expressions: a win-win in my book!

On my shoot, at a certain point, I gave up on the bubbles altogether. So when I took this shot, I thought of how much more magical it could be if I added them in. Now I’m much more happy with the entire shot as the bubbles enhance the joy she is expressing in the frame.

If you’ve never used a jpeg overlay, it’s pretty darn easy. You can watch me apply the overlays and use the bubble brushes here! Both are handy in their own right. I tend to prefer the overlays because they have color, the brushes only change the value but don’t add the same pink, purple and blue shades.

Try the Bubble Overlays & Brushes for yourself!

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Transparent Magic: Bubble Overlays & Brushes

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