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"The polar vortex had hit Maryland and it was about 7 degrees outside at the warmest part of the day," says Nelson. "I had tried shooting frozen macro bubbles before but failed miserably. So this time I decided I'd try harder. I mixed up my liquid, which was a cup filled 1/2 way with warm water, a couple of squeezes of dishwashing soap, a few scoops of sugar for the crystals and some corn syrup to thicken it up a little. Then I put the mixture in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to get it cold. I used a straw to stir the mixture and blow the bubbles. That seemed to give me more control and the ability to make them smaller. I took it all out onto my front yard where the sun was out because I wanted the bubbles to have some nice natural light and starbursts.
"I had to work carefully and quickly because the bubbles would pop and freeze almost instantly. Therefore, I had my settings all ready to go. I was shooting at ISO 100, f/11, 1/200 sec. I was using my Sony a7III with my Canon 100L macro lens adapted. Some of these were shot in manual focus because it was easier to grab focus, but then I switched to autofocus to see if I could shoot faster, which I did. I also underexposed by just under 1 stop because of the bright sun and I didn't want to blow out the details of the crystals. While I prefer summer shooting, I'm very pleased with myself that I braved the cold and powered through."