Bubbles are one of the most challenging subjects to photograph. They are round, transparent, reflective and constantly in motion. Bubbles are magical and can make a magical prop when photographing children. As you noticed in the video above, adults can have a lot fun with bubbles as well. I had my own fun and turned one of Robert’s shots into a deep psychedelic space image.
By the time we are done depleting our natural resources, destroying oceans and polluting the air we better scout a new home out there in space. But not to worry, it will take centuries.
This image was composed from 4 separate images:
Bubbles: by Robert Grant
Earth: by Reto Stöckli, Nazmi El Saleous, and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen,NASA GSFC
2 Moons: by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
There are many ways to cut out an object from the background. Using the pan tool is the most accurate. However in this case accurate edges were not necessary so I used the fastest way:
Select Range: This works really well when the background is a solid color.
Choose Menu > Select > Color Range. The “Color Range” window will open. Use picker to click on the background color. Set fuzziness till the object is completely black and background is white (40 in my case). Hit OK. Then go Menu > Select > Inverse. Copy that selection (right click on subject and click, “layer via copy”, then drag the new layer from layers window onto your original file.
The reason I used the moon to blend with the bubble is to give the bubble the texture of a planet. Setting the Layer Style will allow an overlay of two layers. Create a copy of original bubbles layer and place the new planet layer between these two layers (as seen on the screen shot below). Then in the layers window select the top layer and change “layer style blanding mode” from “Normal” to “Overlay”.
Repeat step 2 and 3 for other planets/ bubbles. Please note how all new planet layers are placed between two copies of original bubbles layers.
Create a new hue/saturation adjustment layer. Position this layer right above the “bubbles-top” layer. Create a clipping mask by going layer>create clipping mask, (this way the hue setting will only apply to the layer it is clipped to not all layers below). Slide the global hue slider until you are happy with the color. You can adjust each planet to be a different color by masking other planets and then creating a new hue/saturation layer again for the next planet, again masking other planets…
The Fastest way to paint a starry sky is to use paint brush tool. Select the “brush” tool. Open brushes panel: Window > Brushes. Choose the star shape brush (comes with photoshop). Set “Shape dynamics” and “Scattering” for organic, naturally random effect (it’s fun to play around with these settings):
Choose a Star Shape brush:
Create a new layer all the way on top of the other layers. Choose white as the color for your star brush (or other color if desired) paint the stars. You might want to create a mask over that layer to remove some of the random stars if they fall onto the planets…. and there you have it: Starry Sky.
Assignment: Photograph bubbles, and create your own world. Post your image below. There is no dead line for this assignment. Top images from each month will be posted in our special edition newsletter and on our facebook page.