Clustered Bubbles

Near San Ignacio, Belize (Artist Statement)

Clustered Bubbles: Near San Ignacio, Belize (2010) - Abstract photograph of clusters of shiny bubbles and green creek water in a mountain stream

I had always wanted to make photographs of the parade of bubbles I saw in gurgling mountain creeks, but no attempt resulted in just what I imagined – a festive explosion of chaos paused, tiny pockets of air in some impossibly complex arrangement that the future would never exactly replicate. I could never get close enough to the surface of the water without wetting the lens, and there was never enough light to allow a fast shutter speed that would stop the motion of the bubbles.

On a trip to Central America, I brought an underwater housing for photographing sea life. While lounging in this warm mountain stream, my mind wandering, it occurred to me that I had been using the wrong approach. I dipped my head and my camera below the surface, pointing the camera through the cascading bubbles towards the sun. There were no water spots on the lens, and the bright light streaming through the water let me use a fast shutter speed, freezing the rolling scene into one perfect, complex moment.

This photograph could have been made anywhere, but it reminds me of warm, moist mountain air, life in the warm tropics, and those rare times when I can let my mind truly wander.

— Clustered Bubbles: Near San Ignacio, Belize (2010)

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© Mark Raymond Mason

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