Create an awesome firework photo with steel wool

Sparks flying around and lighting up a dark room, I bet you saw one or two of these photographs. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to recreate this effect – it’s really simple, you just need a whisk, steel wool and a leash.

Fireworks Photography Tutorial

Before we start: for security reasons you should also bring a bucket full of water with you, as we’re working with a lot of sparks which can cause fire in dry areas or even burn your skin or hair. Also I recommend to wear something to protect your head.

Alright, let’s get into it (It’s quite a lot easier, if you get help of a friend).

Step 1 – Setting up the tools

Take some of the steel wool and put it inside the whisk. Don’t take too much, as it gets harder to set it on fire. Connect the leach to the whisk.

Step 2 – Setting up your DSLR

Obviously you need to set up your camera before setting the wool on fire. Choose a nice perspective and place your tripod there. To get this nice looking sparks-flying-through-the-room-effect you want a longer shutterspeed – something like 10 seconds, be careful to not over- or underexpose your image.

Step 3 – Let the sparks fly around

Use a lighter to set the wool on fire. This step was extremely annoying for us, as the wool wasn’t burning enough to create sparks most of the time – it can take quite some time to get it going. Once it works, quickly spin the leash around like a helicopter. You can try different techniques to get different effects of course.

And that’s how you get these pictures done. If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section below!


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Author Description

Christian Möhrle

Photographing landscapes since 2009, trying to help out the lovely photography community with tutorials, workshops and more

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