Just thought I’d share some photos I took with a mate many nights ago now. I enjoy photography as a hobby and occasionally experiment with new techniques – it’s also one of the reasons I enjoy travelling.
We went out to Maroubra (a coastal Sydney suburb) to take these in the evening. It was our first time experimenting with steel wool in photography so we wanted a nice backdrop in all of our shots. This involved using long exposures of 10 ~ 20 seconds. One of us lit up fine steel wool that was stuffed into a metal whisk and swung it around while the other focused the shot and hit the buttons. As the wool burns and the sparks fly out, it doesn’t last more than around 20 seconds anyway. The effect that you see is a result of the camera’s shutter being open for the duration of the motion, and thus it captures the moving elements of the image as a trail.
For anyone interested in trying this, remember to tie your whisk to a sturdy string! I ended up losing my whisk because the string snapped…so we had to drive a fair distance to the nearest supermarket for another one.
Light painting is a similar technique which involves moving a glowing object in a long exposure against a dark background to trace out an image. Using the LED light on the back of our phones, we were able to use almost the same settings to capture a few of these, though they’re not quite as spectacular as the steel wool ones.
Anyone else into photography? I love doing landscapes, though lately I’ve been getting more interested in long night exposures and star trails.