They are icy worlds in miniature; a moment frozen in a bubble. Each glittering gem is ephemeral, unique and hard-won.

But Mawson station chef and photographer, Justin Chambers, doesn’t shy away from a challenge.

When he saw videos of people blowing soap bubbles in cold climes, he decided to take things one step further and capture the freezing moment in a photograph.

“I experimented with locations out in the open, but the slightest breeze would collapse or pop the bubble before it had frozen,” Mr Chambers said.

“Then I tried using snow and ice walls and setting up tables at the same height as my tripod.

“After a lot of trial and error I eventually got the knack of placing equipment in the right spot, quickly, allowing me to get the shot before everything, including myself, got too cold.”

To get the perfect shot, a lot of things had to be right. This included the temperature and consistency of the bubble mixture, an outside temperature of −20 degrees Celsius or colder, and no wind.

Add in the sun, clouds, and the human factor, and a lot could go wrong.

“At various times I had cold hands, a broken lens, and problems with the light and getting the focus right,” Mr Chambers said.

“It would often take 20 or 30 shots before I got close to what I was looking for.”

Speed was essential, with the ice crystals usually forming within two to five seconds of the bubble being blown.

To capture their development, Mr Chambers used a macro lens with a wide aperture and fast shutter speed, in what he describes as an “exhilarating, stressful and rewarding” process.

He experimented with day and night shots, which each had their challenges.

“With the night shots I experimented with various torches, with different lumens, set at different distances from the bubble,” he said.

“With the day shots, the sun was often obscured by cloud, it wasn’t in the right part of the sky for me to use it as a backdrop, or it wasn’t the right brightness for me to get the shot I wanted.”

His beautiful photos belie the challenges.

“My favourite shots include a setting or rising sun,” he said.

“The colours combined with the crystal structures on the soap bubble mesmerise me every time.”

Can you pick a favourite?