A while back we had the opportunity to photograph some Steel Wool Light Painting here in Sydney, Australia. Below are some of the images that were captured during the evening. If you ever get the opportunity to do this then you should give it a go. These are very easy images to take for those that want to try it for themselves. The biggest challenge is finding somewhere that has an interesting background. It is also best done right after sunset during the blue hour as this way you still get some nice colour in the sky and maybe some streaky clouds depending on the conditions.

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Here are the steps to take to achieve the shot. They are really simple.

  1. Mount the camera on a tripod.
  2. Compose the shot.
  3. Focus the shot by pointing a torch at the point where the spinning will take place.
  4. Change to Manual Focus and Manual Mode.
  5. Choose an aperture of about F8 or F11 or similar that will give you about a 30sec exposure. ISO should be as low as possible e.g. ISO100.
  6. Set shutter 30sec or to BULB setting for longer exposures.
  7. Shoot using a wireless remote or cable release and experiment with the exposure times to achieve the results you want.

Please Note: Do not attempt Steel Wool Light Painting without the right equipment and safety measures in place. Ensure that you are not in an area where it may cause a fire or any damage to property or spectators. If in doubt please obtain permission from your local authorities. These images below were taken in a controlled environment by experienced personnel.

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Sony A7r camera with a FE 24-70 F4 lens / ISO100 30mm F8 30sec / Tripod Mounted / Remote shutter release

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Sony A7r camera with a FE 24-70 F4 lens / ISO100 29mm F8 30sec / Tripod Mounted / Remote shutter release

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