How to Feel Like a Fire God

Everybody loves lightpainting, those awesome long exposure photos of people dancing around with flashlights, LEDs, what have you. But I think these photos go one better. The Boy, his brother, and I took these in his backyard a few nights ago. They came out super awesome and it’s an effect that’s easy to achieve.

Attach a clump of steel wool to a long cord, wire, or piece of rope. It should be something fairly flexible, so that when you spin it in a circle it acts like a lasso. Set your camera up on a tripod with a long exposure (slow shutter speed), it might take a bit of finagling to figure out what works best. One person should run off a ways with the steel wool on its leash and a lighter, while someone else stays with the camera. Ignite the steel wool and spin it around, write with it in the air, whatever you think will look cool. As soon as the steel wool combusts the person by the camera should press the shutter release, and that’s pretty much it! If you’re the person swinging the blazing steel wool around, I highly recommend bellowing, “FEEL MY WRATH MERE MORTALS, FOR I AM LORD OF ALL CREATION!”

Bonus: if, like us, you decide to do this at 4:30am, this could be an awesome way to make friends with your neighbors when they come running outside to check out all the commotion after waking to the sight of fire raining from the sky.

Note: The steel wool did not light anybody on fire. A dead leaf caught, but that was it. So basically what I’m saying is I’m pretty sure you won’t burn to death, but I make no guarantees.

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