what's the secret to get lots of sparks from the steel wool in this type of photography?

My steel wool usually stops sparking after 7-8 seconds. I think this one sparked for a longer time!

enter image description here

  • 2
    Have you tried using more steel wool?
    – binaryfunt
    May 11, 2014 at 12:22
  • The grade of the wool might matter as well. A finer wool burns more rapidly due to the larger surface area, yielding a denser shower of sparks but also burning out faster.
    – JohannesD
    May 11, 2014 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


Not my ideas - culled from web.
Consensus seems to be that smaller grades are best.
eg from photo extremist below "Get Grade 0, 00, 000, or 0000. Don't get anything at or above Grade 1."

Where times are given they are often around 5 seconds.

Tutorial by NZ photographer.

See also his Vast range of 'how to' series of articles' - the few that I have looked at so far are excellent.

Exposure comments and wool grade here Raining fire photography

Excellent tutorial with 7:40 video. Looks good. Specific advice on wool size.
Steel wool photography tutorial

Some of these people are sure to give some clues :-) and these

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