We have hosted countless light painting sessions and Steel Wool is perhaps the most spectacular and most loved. Every session it is a hit with the want for more. Steel wool is dangerous it is molten metal flying about. It only takes a quick search to find out the accidents that have happened. From metal fused to lenses, severe burns and even fires. We are always asked if we will recreate things that have been seen on the internet. Things like having a person in front or an overhead spin holding an umbrella so it looks like raining sparks. Each and every time we see this we refuse, we won’t even do a composited shot where the spin is one frame and the other a person holding the umbrella.
Why do we refuse to do this and anything that is too close to people or shoot a composite? Simply put, it’s dangerous! Umbrellas are mostly nylon and they are very thin, when they catch fire they tend to melt. If a few sparks from the steel wool causes it to ignite the burns will be incredibly bad.
There is countless stories online stating the dangers, burns, roken lenses, fires… it’s all out there.
We take every possible precaution that we can which includes
* Distancing people from where the spin will be done.
* Wearing protective clothing from head to toe.
* Making sure that the area is safe to use.
* Fire extinguisher.
Here is a video on YouTube from a person being hit in the head while spinning steel wool