How to do steel wool photography
"Steel wool photography?" - I hear you ask.
Steel wool is first and foremost a practical material, used for finishing and repairing work, and to polish wood or metal objects. It consists of fine strands of.. you guessed it - steel. I don't particularly enjoy cleaning, but upon finding out that when you set fire to this so called "steel wool" it creates safe sparks, and when you spin these sparks you can create wonderful long exposure photographs, I couldn't wait to give it a try, and suggest you do too!
YOU WILL NEED:
Super fine steel wool is important for the best possible results when it comes to steel wool photograpy.
How can I create steel wool photographs?
What you will need - and what to do with it
1. A camera (preferable DSLR) - but ideally any camera which has a changeable shutter speed. A camera mounted on a tripod is usually best
2. Steel wool - you can buy this from any DIY store for about £3. The fine grade steel wool usually burns better.
3. A whisk - (indeed - the one's you use for cooking!). Once you have your steel wool, break it up as much as possible and put it inside the whisk.
4. A piece of string - attach the whisk to a piece of string - no longer than 1 meter, ideally so that you can spin the whisk around in a controlled manner.
What to do next..
Once you have found a suitable location, set your camera to at least a 10 second shutter speed, or the setting which you desire.
Put your camera on a 10 second timer, and when you are ready, light the steel wool (with a normal match or lighter). When you start spinning, sparks should fly from the whisk.
Play around with the settings on your camera to get different exposure times, i.e. if you want to see more of the background!
Below are some examples of steel wool photography!