Who hasn’t seen steel wool photography before? I saw it for the first time about a year ago on the Hiking Photography blog I follow. At the time, we were still living in Louisiana, the holidays were fast approaching, and I didn’t really have an opportunity to give it a shot myself. Then, it was summer here in Montana and I didn’t want to risk creating a fire… so long story short, it has taken until now and this fresh cover of snow for me to bundle up the courage to give this fiery photography a try.
I was actually able to get two shots out of the first bundle I lit, and I like the spark-less light painting type of look that was the result of the second frame. The bright sparks shooting into the snow are what I wanted to capture though. This is achieved by better “poofing” of the steel wool before lighting it. The more stretched out it is, the more sparks you get. Below is the result of a better unpacked bundle of steel wool.
Pretty cool! And almost more importantly, really fun to do. The shorter days now mean that it’s already dark out when I get off work. Finding inspiration for a daily photo that usually has to be done in the dark, is a bit difficult. I’m excited to have a new technique/challenge I can do once in a while. I wonder what it would look like if I could execute a shot like this while it was actively snowing…
If you are interested in trying steel wool photography yourself, I recommend checking out this link and watching the video. It’s actually surprisingly easy once you get out and try it! :)