Sunday, July 05, 2015

Light Painting with Steel Wool Sparks on the 4th of July

Here's what we did for the 4th of July!  
I love how you can see my silhouette on this one.   

 Here's another cool one with high arcs.  I think Oliver did this one.

As the fireworks were going off a few blocks away in town, we were in the park quietly doing our thing.  No noise with this, and seemingly safer than sparklers.  Seriously, the steel wool has a gentler and quieter burn than a sparkler.

 Here's the first try by Oliver.

Aidin's first attempt.  He got a red caste to his sparks.  Perhaps he was swinging the whisk slower, so the sparks weren't burning quite as hot?

My first attempt at it.  Looks like Cindarella's pumpkin carriage!

Aidin sis this one.  I can tell because his were red.

 At the end, the boys were getting more creative - ad libbing with their swing patterns.

We went to the park next to our house, and did it on the baseball diamond as sand that won't catch fire.    We brought a watering can to snuff out any sparks that needed dampening.   Although there was a streetlight nearby, it didn't seem to disturb our light experiments.  In this photo, I turned up the light after-the-fact so you could see WHERE we were doing this.

The crew : 2 boys (Oliver and Aidin, aged 14 and 13) and I made the sparks (one at a time) ; my husband manned the camera.  That seemed to be a good sized crew - with good communication among us :  "Camera-man ready? Camera-man ready.  Oliver ready?  Ready.  Light ready? Spark it up!"   Each one of us had a different style, swung the whisk a different way and at different speeds for different effects. 

Actually I've been wanting to do this since back in wintertime, when I wanted to do it on frozen Lake Winnebago ...  There's always next year!

This is the instructional You Tube video we consulted for the technique.
It's ingeniously simple, and kinder and gentler than a sparkler--but still hot.  And quiet.  No booms or noise with this effect.      My camera would not allow us to set the exposure for a full 30 seconds, as recommended in the video.  We did this with 15 seconds--with great success!

Remember ALL safety precautions!

1 comment:

The Idaho Beauty said...

I have never heard of this. Frankly, it looks like a lot more fun than sparklers (which actually I've never understood their appeal), and the added bonus of cool pictures is aweson. Really enjoyed the video - that guy is most entertaining!