Doing things for fun


Doing things for fun

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by a group to go into the city and do some night photography in the lanes. A couple of the guys brought along some steel wool to burn and then spin around. I have seen so many photos of it in the past, only tried it once, so I was quite excited to try it again. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, but lots of fun.


We went to Hosier Lane and did some with the graffiti as a backdrop. It worked out really well.

I put this image on Instagram and it did so well. Can’t believe how many likes it got, my most successful image ever really.


They were making use of the doorways and spinning in those. It was quite amazing. I didn’t frame mine very well for this one, but it is all a learning experience.


We went down to another lane which wasn’t so well lit up. The lights in adjacent buildings can create too much light in the lanes. This one was quite dark. They did an orb sort of thing in it. Quite weird, sparks went flying and you had to be careful. I had to walk away from my camera because I was getting sprayed.

I used my 14-24mm for these, but I think if I were doing it again I wouldn’t go so wide. I had to get so close to be able to get anything. It wasn’t always a problem, but it meant I could get in the way of others there. I think next time I would use the 24-70mm, or something similar.

It was a lot of fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I would do it again, but only for fun. I can’t see myself trying to get a body of work doing this. I know there are people out there that doing it all the time, and that’s great, but I love doing other stuff more. I do hope I will get to do it again one day, you never know.

41 Responses

  1. Last one is terrific–Mystery + Wow!

  2. I’ve been meaning to play with steel wool for a while but not got round to it. I like the last photograph where its created a little ball… did you manage to get that effect with the wool? Was it just and up and down movement whilst gradually turning?

  3. Wow Leanne .. this looks like so much fun!

  4. I never realised this was called ‘steel wool’ because they used lighted steel wool. I always imagined it was called that because the results looked like steel wool and that they were made using light. Sounds a bit scary but fun!

  5. Brilliant pics, Leanne. I’ve not seen this before, so quite exciting stuff for me, and very creative end result. A silly question, but how do they get it to burn??? And what sort of exposure times did you need?

  6. These are fabulous shots and looks like you had a grea t time. I never realized or new that steel wool is used for this type of shot – no one really makes mention with the exception of yourself. The graffiti really is a perfect background!

    • Yes, they use steel wool all the time for it, i don’t know how I know, but you see a lot of images of people doing it on social media. Thank you Debby.

  7. Very cool, it’s something I would love to try as well for fun.

  8. I have always wondered how this was done! Really great captures!

  9. Woo!!! what a way to enjoy and had fun at the same time while still working. Amazing photos and have a wonderful weekend, Leanne.

  10. the orbit one is great

  11. That’s really different and interesting, Leanne. It’s a fad sort of thing, but it makes gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  12. That is interesting…I’ve never heard of that…shows how tame I am πŸ˜‰ I always enjoy your posts Leanne, I just haven’t said much simply because of time constraints. Your photographs are something that I look forward to seeing. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • Not tame Heather, I think if you spend a lot of time on social media you see it everywhere.That’s okay, no need to apologise, I know how it is, I feel like I’m just keeping my head above water these days. That’s is so good to hear, thank you so much Heather.

  13. Recently someone tried to do the steel wool thing on an iconic wreaked wood boat and burned the back half. Photographers from all over would come to shoot that boat. Care needs to be taken when doing this, especially not near wood. The results are amazing though. Your images are great, especially with the graffiti in the background.

    • I heard about that, I have to say these guys were really careful and made sure that nothing would catch on fire first. Care certainly needs to be taken. Thanks Anne.

  14. leecleland

    The images in the doorways are stunning I can understand you getting heaps of likes on that one! Having the square around the circle makes it even more dynamic (haha) than the usual images you see of steel wool spinning.

  15. Wow this is amazing and inspiring !!..- the creativity part is really in the how you have got the back ground ( the graffiti one ) to blend in – good one ! – Thanks for sharing !

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