I noticed a lot of Instagram users spinning steel wool so me and a friend decided to join in on the fun. For about $40 worth of parts we were able to build a metal rig using a whisk and metal wiring to achieve this effect.
This technique is a lot of fun and can be mixed up a bit by walking or spinning in different directions. Just be safe when trying this out since it’s a massive fire hazard.
Steel Wool Photography Tips
- Bring a fire extinguisher and do not try this in a dry area
- Wear gloves, if you hold the wire with your bare hand you’ll end up cutting your hand
- Darker areas work better since you can see the effect more clearly
- Use a tripod. Most these shots in this article were done at 25sec F/8 ISO 200
These were taken at a local lake in the middle of the night to ensure no one would be around. Surprisingly, these photos take very little editing to pull off; I mostly just bumped the reds and contrast.
After getting around 7 inches of snow we decided to venture out in the cold in the middle of the night to shoot the shot below (the snow photo was actually taken around midnight even though it looks bright).
Capturing these photos are a lot of fun and I recommend it. Just make sure you’re safe about what you’re doing and never do this in a dry area.