Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Steel Wool Photography

I recently had a chance to take out the camera and go out to have some fun. My photography group's latest outing was to do steel wool photography. I didn't do much research on camera preparation and boy was I surprised with the shots I will able to get simply using the "auto" mode.

I'll explain the process involved to produce the photo you see above. Steel wool is held in a small cage on a string or rope, lit on fire and then the person lighting the cage begins to swing it. After checking online I found the process is not as simple as it might seem and you need to be careful to not swing near gas containers or other flammable items.

This next shot was pure magic for me in that the person swinging who was wearing black clothes seemed to vanish into the background.

It is magical because the camera will pick up what the eye cannot. As the guy was swinging I was not aware of what seemed like millions of filaments flying out, or for that matter hitting the ground. It was only when I checked to see what I had taken that I realized all that showed up.

This photo is my prized favorite. I say that because once again the person doing the swinging blends into the background. What I prize about the photo is its simplicity.It's done with the downtown skyline and river as the back drop, and out of the darkness is this flaming half wheel and highlights like stars.

After this adventure I cannot wait until the next such event. I've done a little reading on taking great steel wool shots so stay tuned...