Some recent photos from Dún Laoghaire – the locations used were around the 40 foot in Sandycove and Coliemore Harbour, on two different nights.
This technique involves using long exposures at twilight (or later) to capture the trails produced by spinning burning steel (wire) wool.
The steel wool is held in a metal container (e.g. a kitchen whisk !) with a rope attached. Once lit, using a battery, it’s spun around to produce these trails.

A bit of trial and error is involved to produce a good result – in terms of location, exposure and the actual spinning itself. However, the results can be spectacular, if everything works out just right.

Last but not least, care needs to be taken that a safe location is chosen. The burning particles are generally small, and burn very briefly – but could still cause problems if they landed in the wrong place.

Long exposure photo of steel wool spinning at the Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire

Steel Wool spinning photos from Sandycove

Long exposure twilight photo from Sandycove - with Steel Wool spinning

Forty Foot long exposure - wire wool spinning

Sandycove long exposure photo with steel wool

Forty Foot Steel Wool spinning - Dun Laoghaire

Long exposure of Coliemore Harbour and Dalkey Island - with steel wool spinning

Long exposure at Coliemore Harbour - twilight, Steel Wool

Steel Wool spinning - long exposure

Coliemore Harbour, Dun Laoghaire - long exposure, steel wool spinning

Coliemore Harbour, twilight photo with added Steel Wool spinning

Coliemore Harbour long exposure with steel wool spinning. Howth Head in the background.

These photos were taken with a group from my local photography society – Offshoot. If you’re interested in photography, have a look at the website and come along to one of the regular meetings.

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