Into The fire - Being Creative with light...
The most common method of light painting is using a Fashlight and moving it around while shooting long exposures. We all know that trick, and many times it looks a little of the same!! This is why I really like when people think "out of the box" , With much more creative ways to do light painting. Using burning Steel Wool can create awesome looking photos. Its super cheap, creative and can give your Images the X-Factor....
When shooting with burning Steel Wool, make sure you do it in a safe place, and also make sure to take a fire extinguisher with you or the like, often perfect just after rain when everyone else is inside hiding from the weather. Find that location and you could be rewarded with a creative reflection as the Fire Lights Up your scene....
Focal length 21mm, shutter speed 15 seconds. while spinning it over your head
If you shoot while there’s still a little light left you the sky will have a nice deep blue colour. Some people use this technique at night and combine it with painting with light (using either torchlight or portable flash) to build up an image or to capture star trails.
Put your camera on a tripod, and set your exposure using manual mode. Aim for a shutter speed of around eight to 15 seconds – there’s no harm in underexposing the background for dramatic effect (I find the steel wool burns for about ten seconds). You’ll need to be shooting at twilight, otherwise it will be too bright. The sparks won’t show up in daylight.
Focal length 17mm, shutter speed 330 seconds. The longer shutter speed has captured the
movement of the stars/ Clouds. I waited just after it rained to get that illuminated light on the
ground and went for a longer exposure to get the effect of a car trail and the motion of the Sky
Just like the previous image, this was a long exposure stopping down to 100 ISO and
at F8. This took us around 5 minutes to complete which ment we were kept bussy through out the duration of the exposure.
Shoot Raw so you can make fine adjustments to colour temperature and exposure in post-processing. In the meantime, set white balance to daylight – that will help the camera record the colours accurately.
If you’re using a wide-angle lens (recommended for the dramatic perspective) then move as close as you can to the arc of the burning sparks of steel wool for a strong composition. It is wise to wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible, plus a hat and safety goggles, in case one of those sparks lands on you. You should also use a UV filter to protect the front element of your lens from burning sparks.....
Steel wool spinning inspiration: