Steel Wool Photography is a special form of long exposure photography. This genre is really experimental and fun to try using your iPhone.
The hot streaks of light creates really amazing look and goes perfectly along with landscape as well as portrait photography.
You can experiment lot using steel wool in photography but you must be sure about safety first.
What is Steel wool Photography?
Steel Wool Photography is a sub-genre of long exposure photography in which the hot embers of burning steel wool are captured in motion by spinning it.
The steel wool embers are so hot and bright that they create awesome streaks of light when they pass through the camera sensor in motion.
Is Steel wool photography possible with iPhone ?
Yes, Steel wool photography is 100% possible just using your iPhone.
With latest hi-end camera sensor hardware and polished operating system and software iPhones stand as a great tool for photography no matter what the genre is.
How to capture Steel wool Photography with iPhone?
Steel Wool Photography is a popular genre loved by every photographer because who does not want experiments and creativity. You can have some fun shooting with steel wool.
You can combine steel wool photography with any other genre such as landscape, astro and even with portraits. It makes your photos much more appealing and interesting.
But you must be highly concerned about your safety and the tools that are required for steel wool photography.
Some of the ideas and tips for capturing amazing steel wool photography is listed below in detail.
1. Tools required for steel wool Photography
1. Steel Wool: Steel wool also known as iron wool or wire wool is a bundle of very flexible and fine sharp edge steel filaments used for polishing metal or wooden surfaces, also for cleaning cookware.
Steel wool with grade 0000 and 000 are highly recommended but do not go for the one with grade 1 or higher.
2. Steel Whisk: Use a steel whisk to hold the steel wool and go for the one with a hook to tie the string for spinning.
Pack the steel wool inside the whisk but pack it loosely so that oxygen can flow and it will burn properly.
Do not use a silicone whisk as it will melt because steel wool burns at very high temperature.
3. Gloves: You must be highly concerned about your safety while doing steel wool photography because it gets really hot while burning.
So it is better to use a pair of gloves before getting ready for shooting steel wool.
2. Set up the tripod and composition
Set up your iPhone in a tripod and fix the composition for your shot.
You can capture long exposure in the stock camera app in iPhone 11 and above using the night mod option. You can slow down your shutter speed upto 30 seconds depending on the lighting conditions.
And if you have other iPhones then there is nothing to worry about because you can use some excellent third party apps like Slow shutter cam, Camera +,etc.
3. Spin the Steel Wool
One the location and all the equipments are set you are ready for the shoot. Ignite the steel wool with the help of lighter and start spinning it.
You can set the iPhone in timer mode to spin the whisk by yourself or you can ask a friend of yours for a favour.
The burning bright spark will fly out and create light tails. You can try out various spinning methods such as horizontal spinning or vertical spinning.
4. Be creative with an umbrella
Steel wool Photography by using a person holding an umbrella creates a really interesting look. You can ask a friend to spin the steel wool from a higher surface and another friend to stand or sit in ground level and shoot.
This will make your shot look like you have captured fire raining. But you must make sure that the person holding umbrella is well protected under it because the hot embers might hurt them.
5. Enhance the image in Post-Processing
Steel wool Photography don’t really need a lot of post processing as it looks good straight out of your iPhone.
But adjusting the highlights and cropping a little bit will make it look even more attractive. You can also adjust the colour balance to give your photos a different kind of mood.