Today I tried the art of Steel Wool Photography which turned out some interesting shots. As the name implies steel wool photography consists of placing fine steel wool (the finer the better) in a whisk setting it on fire and turning the steel wool around to create some pretty cool shots. The spark in the image above are actually melted fragments of steel flying out leaving a trail of “fire”.
For this particular shot I used a my Cannon 500D with and 18-55mm lens, however camera settings were as follows:
- Aperture: f7.1
- The higher the aperture the more things there are in focus which was needed in this case. Also less light is let into the camera sensor which obviously has to be compensated by setting a longer shutter speed.
- Shutter Speed: 15seconds
- By allowing the shutter to stay open for 15 seconds more light was coming through to the sensor. However since the shutter was open for a long period of time I was able to catch the trails of burning steel fragments and also the reflection of the light on the water.
- By burning the fine steel wool and turning it in the process, the burning steel has more air passing through it, consequently it burns more vigorously. The faster you turn it the more it burns for a less amount of time.
- By turning in a circle I was able to create the ball effect without me actually cropping up in the image because I was constantly moving. If however I stayed still for while turning the wool I would be visible in the shot.