Last century, back in 1984, I clicked through an entire roll of film, shooting cars on the Southern Motorway, with my camera shutter locked open. The tail lights ahead were jiggling like demented glow worms as we tried in vain to keep our vehicle steady. From these long exposures, only one frame was any good, but I was hooked.

how to spin steel wool

“Spiral at Spooners.” Moving toward the camera while spinning steel wool creates a vortex.

Fast-forward to the digital era, where everyone and their DSLR is saturating social media with stunning images. How do you stand out from the proverbial crowd? One answer is to shoot at night time, when sensible folks are at home sleeping. Familiar objects will appear remarkably different under the cover of darkness, so you can put a different ‘spin’ on them.

The literal definition of the Greek words photos and graphos is to ‘paint with light’. So, by definition, if you practice photography, you’re light painting; you are producing art.

In this first tutorial, I will show you how to spin wire wool to create arty, abstract photos that exude that elusive ‘wow factor.’

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