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[DIY] Light Painting with Steel Wool

When it comes to photography projects, Benjamin Von Wong is one of the most prolific guys I know. It seems like every few posts I'm compelled to bring you something cool Ben is doing. Whether it's playing with his pliable models, setting them ablaze or just a quick tip. His latest venture has him teaming up with Udi Tirosh over at DIY Photography to show us how to light paint with steel wool. Including the basic technique, location, safety and a few other helpful tips to consider. For someone who plays with fire as much as Ben and with hair that big, he must know what he is doing... right?

via [DIYPhotography]

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Eric Gould's picture

Alright I know what I'm doing this weekend. Great fun guys...

Photofide - Dave's picture
Ulises Amezcua's picture

I'm going down the street to shoot the corner guy who gives a street show with real petrol... let´s see the outcome.

Von Wong's picture

Thanks for the love fstoppers :) 

Eric Mazzone's picture

So where is that info on the $100 home depot light set up that was promised last time?

udi Tirosh's picture

Hi Eric, I am recording the footage as I type.
FS, always nice to be featured on your super site

Eric Mazzone's picture

Awesome thanks!

Tony Northrup's picture

My own light painting how-to video, which covers steel wool, glow wire, glow sticks, and flashlights: 

some more thoughts:
- some steel wool doesn't work - you need the fine grade stuff. Around 0, or 00, 000 etc. This can be bought from ebay etc if your local doesn't have it. (its not the same coarse stuff you get from the supermarket)
- if your exposure is too long or you spin too fast you get too much 'arms' arcing off the spin and it doesn't look as good
- you can use a lighter / naked flame to light the wool, although when its windy its harder to light
- self timer (with say a 10sec delay) can allow you to jump in front of the camera and do it all yourself
f- careful not to tilt your spin too far into your camera. The sparks can cause real damage to your lens
- its best to already be spinning before the shutter is tripped so the spin is more even
- changing the length of your wire / chain etc as you spin creates a cool effect and hides the spinner as you spin
- reflections make great compositions
- use live view to help focus on your environment before you jump into it.

Laura Eliza's picture

You mean you can set stuff on fire with a battery!? O_o I must try this!