So….for the first image I’m going to publish from my 52 week photography challenge, this is “The ring of Fire”. Night-time photography for me is all about adding light to usually dark situations. And that’s usually the inside of a church hall, reception venue or something of that sort, which involves shooting with flash, which I can’t say I care much for.

So for this week’s challenge, I’m out in the dark, with some steel wool, a key chain, a cheap (75p from Wilko’s) balloon whisk, and a 9V battery! The trick here is to get the burning steel wool to stay in the whisk while you swing it around, my first attempt ended with the steel wool being catapulted out of the whisk’s head and off into a pile of leaves (which were damp fortunately, and put the glowing embers out quickly)

First Attempt at swinging burning steel wool

Our second attempt, was a little more successful, we threaded the steel wool around the whisk thus securing it to it’s frame. Lighting the steel wool is surprisingly easy, either with a match, or the 9V battery, literally just rub it onto the wool and it will catch light (so do be careful if you try this at home); although the wool doesn’t exactly burn brightly to the naked eye, the camera sees things very differently, capturing every tiny spark and glowing ember that it throws out. The camera was mounted on a tripod to keep everything steady and we used an LED torch to get the right focus, before switching the focus to manual.

The camera settings we used were:
Focus: Manual (focused on an LED torch held at the centre of the circle before we started)
Exposure: 30secs
F-stop: F10
ISO: 400

I hope you like the first of what’s going to be an exciting series of photos.