Steel wool photography


Steel wool photography is to capture the long exposure of burning steel wool.

When you burn the steel wool, Sparks will fly all over and long exposure of this will give a good shot.

This looks an easy but it’s not that easy. So what and all you need for this.

  1. Steel wool – available at hardware shop or online like amazon.
  2. Petrol
  3. Lighter/Matches
  4. Steel Chain
  5. Whisk – you can get it from utensil shop or from your kitchen.
  6. Tripod and camera.


Safety is the first thing so you need below things for precautions.

  1. Hoodie
  2. Gloves
  3. Water

Location and preferred time:

  • Don’t try it indoors
  • Best time is after blue hour.
  • Any darker locations especially near lakes should be okay for this. So you can get reflection as well.

Camera settings:

  • Shutter Speed: 20-25 seconds can give you enough time to go creative.
  • ISO: 100 (Minimum ISO will give you the noise free image)
  • Aperture: F10-F22 for the sharp.
  • Focus Mode: Manual

Now you can put the steel wool inside the whisk and lit the steel wool with pouring some petrol in it and start rotating slowly. Don’t rotate fast.


Now coming to my experience for this amazing steel wool.

We took two days to complete this project and in two days shoot we got three images. We selected the location which was outskirts from the city. First day it was our trial day and we were not sure if we will be getting the shot or not. We reached on location by time, in our first trial we put some steel wool on whisk and lit after pouring petrol, after started rotating in our very first trial it self we got the long exposure But focus was missing. So after adjusting the focus in next two three shots we got our desired result.

Steel wool 1

Now second day again we reached on the same location with our second shoot. Now this time we had model with us. For this shot we had to try multiple time, some shots we had struggle due to focus, then light on the model was challenge as we were not having enough light source with us, so we used mobile torch to give the light on model. Then this time we struggled a lot while lighting the steel wool. And after 20-30 unsuccessful attempt we got the result. After over second shot our petrol bottle caught the fire and since petrol went on the grass as well so grass also caught the fire. We were able to stop the fire immediately thank God, and after that we took our last and final shot, which we got in our first attempt it self.

Below is the video link what you will see with the naked eye.

Steel wool photography video

Enjoy and Experiments, hope this article will help you to get the some understanding.



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