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Thread: Burning Steel Wool

  1. #1
    jstp's Avatar
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    Burning Steel Wool

    Hello all,

    My mate and I thought we would have a go at doing some photos of burning steel wool. We both took our respective cameras, me my Pentax K-30 with the Sigma 17-70mm and Simon with his Nikon D700 and a 19-35mm Tokina lens. We set our cameras up on different angles and then took turn spinning the wool and starting the exposures. These are a couple of the photos from the night.

    Cheers

    J

    Burning Steel Wool
    Burning Steel Wool
    Burning Steel Wool

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    Very nice.

  3. #3

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    Paul Matthews

    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    very nice images. I always wanted to have a go at this. what did you use to light the steel wool? I'm guessing you attached it to a piece of string and then lit it using something or does it light on its own?

  4. #4
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    Quote Originally Posted by paulm View Post
    I'm guessing you attached it to a piece of string and then lit it using something or does it light on its own?
    You can light it with a blowtorch, creme brulee torch, or by touching the wool to the contacts of a 9V battery.

    I'm going to be critical, because images like this are done pretty often. On the first one, spinning over uneven ground made the spark trails land in highly variable places. Very organic, and very cool. But there's some kind of flare or water drop on the frame's left edge that's distracting me. The tunnel photo is a neat setting, but the camera's off-center. I think it should either be dead-center for symmetry, or way off with a shorter lens for a dramatic angle. Final shot is most interesting. I wonder how it'd look with the subject entirely over water, spinning with the city lights reflected on the surface.

  5. #5

    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    wow!!!

  6. #6
    dje's Avatar
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    Dave Ellis

    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    Very impressive Jason. I've never seen this sort of thing before.

    Dave

  7. #7
    IShootPeople's Avatar
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    Kim Abbott

    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    I think the second photo is my favorite, because the tunnel gives a really interesting path to the ricocheting particles. I agree with the camera being more centered, but I think that concept is very neat, and you did a great job on these!

  8. #8
    jstp's Avatar
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    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    Thank you all for your comments and feedback.

    Cheers

    J

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    Hi Jason,

    Whilst I agree with earlier suggestions posted, these are still 'a cut above average' on some I've seen, I like the 'ground bounce' effects and the sparks coming toward us.

    I have seen others try to enhance with reflections, but that often meant they ended up too far away.

    I have never tried this, but I did wonder about suggesting shooting (at same distance) in damp weather, perhaps with a foreground puddle to get a reflection, but that may be 'too much' for the composition and the dampness may kill the ground bounce sparks too soon.

    Good work though, well done,

  10. #10
    jstp's Avatar
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    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for the comments and feedback, it is all being taken on board and added to the library of knowledge. We have tried this before and one of the spots was on a bridge over water. The night was dead still and the water was like glass, it wasn't till we were processing the photos that we realised we could have done better with the reflection.
    We will be going back to the same spot to try again, I just hope the weather is replicated.

    Cheers

    J

    Burning Steel Wool

  11. #11
    Wavelength's Avatar
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    Nandakumar

    Re: Burning Steel Wool

    A wonderful series.... very nice critique, followed
    Regards

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