With my girlfriends help spinning the wool and me across
the small frozen pond out back we were able to capture this shot
containing the wool trick and the glow of the city lights behind her
and the trees. Took a few tries but we had a lot of fun with this
technique. - John Petersen

Shooting summary: Canon EOS REBEL T3i with EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
lens at ISO 800 with aperture of f/6.3 and a 6 second exposure, shot
in RAW format and adjusted hue, saturation and contrast with Digital
Photo Professional in post processing to achieve the violet coloring.

When I was test shooting different motion patterns with the ignited steel wool to see how they would turn out, one of them had excess space with the rings taking up the other 2/3 of the frame. The excess space, however, inspired the idea for an image of pushing the "rings of fire" out of my hand. All I needed was a second photo with me to merge with the original image. Using the same previous camera settings, I set the self timer, planted myself in the correct spot, then moved VERY slowly (duration of 20 sec) towards the direction of the rings for the push/motion effect. It took several attempts to line myself up correctly, but it worked out for the final image after post-processing. - Joseph Torralba

Camera: Sony NEX-C3 (on tripod and used 10 sec self timer), 18-55mm lens, f/10, 20 sec, ISO 400


I call this image- Dragons Breath

I attached the camera mounted upside down under my tripod. I used a metal grate that I attached to the front of my 100,000 BTU kerosene torpedo heater with a bundle of 0000 grade steel wool wedged between the heater and the metal grate. Ran an extension cord over to the tripod, and remote triggered the camera at the same time I plugged in the extension cord. (there were a number of trial and error shots where I figured out the timing and learned I don't have to ignite the steel wool manually, the torpedo heater does it almost instantly)


This is my first time entering one of your shooting challenges as I have just begun to play with my T3i. I look forward to some other fun ones like this. I had a great time figuring out how to set it all up and coming up with an idea I felt would be unique for the shot.
And a word of advise to all the other 'newbies' out there, you don't have to be a pro photographer, or even a good one, the way to get better is to have some fun and practice. The surest way to fail is to fear failure! - Josh Caine

Equipment Used-
Canon T3i
EF-S 18-55mm Canon Lens
Ravelli APGL4 Tripod
6 Second Exposure
ISO 100
Focal Length 18mm


After finally getting the guts up to do the last challenge, I was ecstatic to hear about this one. I'm subscribed to Photoextremeist on Youtube and I love his tutorials. What I did was get my dad out on a cold Iowa night to an empty field. I set the camera up on a tripod and had my dad trip the shutter while I swung the chain with the whisk while walking perpendicular to the camera. I know there are probably going to be a bunch of other people who do this photo, but screw it. This is my photo and it looks freaking cool. Anyway, I used a Cannon Xt with a kit lens on ISO 200 and with an aperture of f/8 and a shutter speed of 10 seconds. No editing in Photoshop, because the color correcting kept wanting to take away that gorgeous gold color. - Josh Newell

Night Reflections

Had a hard time to take all the stuff from the pool and the water movement created a beautiful reflection. I used a Canon 500D on a tripod, with a canon EF-28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens at focal length 28mm, 100 ISO, at 30 sec, f/8. - Julia Barcelos


We had fun shooting sparks under bridges and inside tunnels but I realized the most epic place in town would be on Friendship bridge over looking the Boise river. The bank of the river comes out just far enough to get a nice angle of the bridge. There were geese swimming around and although they seemed a bit startled I think they enjoyed the show. I used my Nikon D80 with the f stop on 9 and the exposure time for 20 seconds. The picture came out great but I did do some minor color editing in camera bag 2. - Justin White

Nikon D80
Focal Length: 22
F Stop 9
ISO 200
Exposure time 20


My boyfriend and I intended to find a place in town to do this steel wool challenge, but we went in our backyard to practice, and I liked this shot of a "weeping fire willow" so much that I'm submitting it. There's no post-processing on this image. - Kathryn Scott

Taken with: Canon 60D
15 second exposure
Tungsten white balance


I did this challenge with a group of people and I will admit that I was afraid of doing the actual spinning. Even taking the picture, I setup my camera, put it on a two second timer, then once I started to take the picture I would run back for cover, thankfully I wasn't teased about it. Despite the fear of setting myself on fire or whacking myself with the cable and letting that get in the way of volunteering to do the actual spinning, it was a fun challenge. A big "thank you" to the other members in the group who did the spinning. I picked this picture to submit because it was different than the typical circle that you get (and because it received the most views on my flickr account -NuBPix- ). I also obviously changed the colors tones in Lightroom to make it even more unique. This image was shot with a Nikon D3100 using the kit lens with a focal length of 18mm. I did a 30 second exposure at f/9 and the ISO was 200. - Katrina Giusti

It was shot in downtown South Bend, Indiana on a very cold night. I believe the wind chill was around 10 degrees. I haven't ever done this type of photography before but had a lot of fun giving it a try. I called up a friend (since the area wasn't exactly the safest area at night) and we went out to get the shots. It would have been fun to get more shots at this location but being just off the main road it was starting to attract too much attention. It was kind of fun to hear a few surprised comments. We had been trying to get some globe type of shots but decided to try for a nice ring of fire for this one. It was fun to see how high the sparks would go. - Kevin Miller


This image was shot using a Canon 7D with a Sigma 10-20mm lens at the 17mm mark. ISO 125, f/10, with a 20 second exposure.

We were out cooking on the grill when we saw this UFO came out of the sky. It crashed in my backyard spraying sparks everywhere! We ate a couple burned hot dogs together and this is the picture as they left. - Landon Carlson


I shot this with a Canon T1i at 18mm with the kit lens. This shot was a 20 second exposure at f/8 with a 200 ISO.

I came up with the idea to choose the Krog street tunnel becuase I'd always been facinated by the amount of graffiti and the location. It is located just underneath a MARTA rail in a slightly more run down area of town with higher crime etc. I started out shooting on the sidewalks in the tunnel but wasn't getting enough of the scene captured, so my friend and I moved to the center of the tunnel in the midst of traffic. We then tried our best to time the shots in beween waves of cars getting let through by the streetlights beyond. With this particular shot we had about 20 seconds to spin the sparks with no traffic. You can see that there are some headlights at the end of the tunnel however! A car started to drive our way so we quickly lept out of the way, put the lens cap on, left before the cops showed up. - Landon Gennetten


Camera: Nikon D5000 SLR
Lens: 18-55mm
ISO: 200
Exposure time: 30secs

Spinning wool in the backyard, hitting the wall and steps below and the (wet) plant. The bouncing and scattering of the wool was what we were looking for in this shot. - Lane Carlson


Canon 450D
iso 200
shutter 20s
manual focus

A friend and I have recently started dabbling in long exposure photography. Thinking this would be good practice, we ventured out to a local boat launch at 2 a.m. and set up. We did a few test shots and of course as luck would have it a local police officer showed up. After the normal run down of questions, we showed him a few of the shots. It was easier than explaining that we were setting steel wool on fire and taking pictures of it. Because c'mon who's going to buy that line? Needless to say he was impressed, and told us to have a good night. - Marc Haering


Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikor 18-200mm
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 400
Shutter Speed: 30 seconds
Aperture: f/3.5
Tweaked the contrast a little in CS5

Shot in an empty parking lot in Dahlonega, GA. I left my tripod at home so we used the hood of my car. - Mason Beckman


Canon 60D
Sigma 30mm f/1.4
ISO 500
Shutter speed: 20 sec.

I've wanted to do the steel wool experiment for a while now, and this gave me the excuse I needed. I ran to the hardware store, then realized I didn't know exactly what I needed. After looking online (smartphones!), I picked up some chain, a clasp, whisk, and steel wool (0000). The shot is off of my deck into a clearing past my back yard. I used a glow stick to mark a spot in the field, and then focused on it. This helped me focus in the dark, and gave me a consistent place to stand. Of course my remote trigger wasn't working, so my fiance had to come out and press the shutter. I had a 10 second delay set for two reasons: it avoids shake - and when I saw it start counting down (blinking), I would light the wool (butane lighter). I swung the steel wool in a circle in front of me, then slowly turned in place to make a sphere. - Matthew Malnati


This is a 100% crop of the result. I shot it in RAW, and adjusted the contrast and did a little recovery of the highlights, but it is otherwise it is as-shot.

Camera: Canon T2i with a Sigma 18-50 mm, f/2.8-4.5 lens
The camera settings were: 18mm focal length, shutter speed 30", f.5.0, ISO 200, shot in RAW