A Creative Light Painting Photograph That Makes Sparks Look Like Rain

After seeing an online tutorial on steel wool light painting, photographer Simon Berger found a friend to model for him and went out to try his hand at the technique. After some initial success, he started brainstorming creative ideas that he hadn’t seen before. The result of the brainstorming was this stunning shot that makes the sparks from a burning piece of steel wool look like rain falling on an umbrella.

Here’s the original color (and uncropped) version of the photograph, which features Berger’s brave friend Martin:

Berger tells us that his photographs use ordinary steel wool that’s set ablaze for the sparks. He sets his Canon 5D Mark III at an aperture of f/8, an ISO of 100-200, and a shutter speed of 15-20 seconds.

Here are some of Berger’s other steel wool light painting experiments:

If you decide to try your hand at steel wool light painting, be sure that you protect both your eyes and your camera’s eye from the sparks. Wear goggles, and put a cheap filter on your lens to avoid getting molten metal on the front element.

Pouring Rain Noir by Simon Berger (via Colossal)

Image credits: Photographs by Simon Berger and used with permission

  • Jason DreamArts

    You seriously need to visit real light painters… Don’t hate this work, just not good as Wen-jiĆ© or Vincent Bruno or Kalaam or Marko93…

    Or Dream Art’s :D

  • marilyn

    very interesting pictures. good work.

  • Trey Mortensen

    Also check out Dennis Calvert. He was on here before but his stuff still amazes me, especially after I have tried to replicate some of his stuff

  • Ki Rin

    How do you think he got the sparks to be falling on the umbrella? I mean usually these kind of shots, the person is spinning the wool around, but in this one they seem to be falling from above?

  • Tutterz

    What’s special? I’ve been doing light painting and wool spinning for years :S

  • nothing is new, dude

    congratulations… you’re amazing. you invented creativity.

  • Tutterz

    And so you should be grateful, peasant.

  • Stephen

    That first shot really is great…I’ve experimented from time to time with steel wool too…awesome stuff!

  • Jason DreamArts

    I perfectly know the work of Dennis :) one of a light painting master.
    Don’t try to replicate, make some new stuff, more cool for you and us ^^