Massage in a Bottle

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    Nothing really unusual. I tried the old firecracker underwater with a much stronger bottle.

    So strong that the sides did not break. Polycarbonate not that wimpy polyethylene terephthalate.

    Just joking.

    Once again I got that weird cavitation foam, but much more this time.


    KatieAnnOwens, Richard Powers, and 8 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. P^2 - Paul 33 months ago | reply

      1. Where do those bubbles in the top half come from? (presumably air coming out of solution, but I'd think that would only happen if there's reduced pressure in that region, which I would not guess to be happening).

      2. How do you put that bottle (with a hole in the bottom) there without getting at least a few drops of water on the surroundings?

    2. alan_sailer 33 months ago | reply


      1) I don't know. My guess is cavitation. I have seen bubbles, to a much lesser extent, in my old pellet hitting things filled with water days. It was always down stream from the impact point.

      2) That one is easy, tight fit and hot melt glue. Test tube is black to absorb (mostly) the ginormous amount of initial light.

      3) I just tried a failed experiment with a few inches of xylene floating on top. Trigger was way too early, so no new data.

      Welcome back from Japan.


    3. = Leo = 33 months ago | reply

      The bubbles are from cavitation and the question is how is there low pressure next to an explosion? My guess is the bottle shape is expanded from the pressure at the bottom. That would lower the pressure at the top.

    4. barkingduck99 33 months ago | reply

      I agree with Leo,
      this is a fascinating image! What would be the 'shutter speed'/exposure on this ?
      Also, isn't xylene extreemly flammable? Sounds like you need a bunker.

    5. alan_sailer 33 months ago | reply


      That theory is fine for a flexible container, but with my earlier pellet stuff, the target was glass. And the bubbles were there.


      The camera is open for a full second in a dark room. So it is the flash that sets the exposure. And that is 1 millionth of a second.

      Xylene is flammable. A little worse than kerosene. I don't have a normal water heater in the garage, so there isn't an ignition source unless someone is taking a shower.

      Bottom line, dangerous, but not really stupid.


    6. barkingduck99 33 months ago | reply

      1 millionth of a second? wow. That's a small window of opportunity. I would imagine that for every image you post, you probably have -a milion- out takes..
      But, like anything, if it was easy everyone would do it.

    7. alan_sailer 33 months ago | reply


      At this point total failures, ie no picture, are rare. Most tries I get some sort of picture. One in five tries is good enough to post.

      And maybe one out of every ten I post is really quite good.

      It's a lot better odds than some kinds of photography.

      The flash is expensive if you buy a commercial unit. So that puts off a lot of people.

      I build my own, which also means I am a lot more willing to put them in harms way. If you had a 4000$ flash, would you be doing shots that sprayed water and xylene over it?

      I sure wouldn't.

      If I break my flash, I just fix it. No big deal.


    8. P^2 - Paul 33 months ago | reply

      Good to be back.

      So why xylene? Looking for different sort of bubble or refractive index effect?

      (Though I, too, question the sanity of atomizing xylene in a closed space. In a biology lab techniques course I took, it was stressed how toxic it was. Of course, their reference was stuff like deionized water.)

    9. alan_sailer 33 months ago | reply


      Different bubble effect.

      I am not saying doing it is smart, but like most thing I do with this dumb hobby, I only do it a few times. Moderation in all things, including stupid ones.


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