Whats up everyone, in this tutorial I will show YOU how to make this picture…

The Night Photo mode now available on the GoPro HERO 4 Black & Silver have brought a whole new set of customized settings and long exposure shutter speeds. This allows your camera to let in more light into the sensor over a longer period of time, hence the term “Long Exposure”, and lets you shoot high quality photos in low light and dark environments. You can also capture streaks of light over a set period of time, depending on your shutter speed settings [Light Painting].

Steel Wool Photography may seem complicated but in reality it is easy to try out if you have the right equipment, a helping hand, and pay attention to safety. Here’s what you’ll need:

I got mine at the dollar store. DCIM100GOPRO
A stainless steel whisk and length of strong cord to tie it to. DCIM100GOPRO
Any simple lighter will work.
Don’t underestimate the potential danger of molten steel burning your skin. DCIM100GOPRO
Use the GoPro App or remote so you do not move the framed shot. DCIM100GOPRO
Night photos are very sensitive to movement. Use a tripod for crisp results. DCIM100GOPRO


Always consider the location and the surrounding areas when you are taking your photos. The beach, tunnels, and the middle of the road are perfect locations. Rural areas and even parks are good options too. Make sure you pick a place where people are unlikely to suddenly walk into the immediate area and be hit by flying sparks, or with anything that is likely to catch on fire such as dry grass. Bringing a small extinguisher with you is also a great idea, you don’t want to be responsible for causing any fires.

Now for the fun part…

Set up your GoPro on a tripod or 3-Way mount. Swith your camera to Night Photo mode and turn on Protune. Before you light up the whisk and start spinning, take several test shots of the location and adjust your Protune settings accordingly.

Miguel’s Go-To Settings for Steel Wool Photos:


Play around and make minor adjustments until you get it right. Spread out the steel wool from its packaging and stuff it inside the whisk. Light up the steel wool and whirl it in a circular motion. Have your partner set off the shutter button using the GoPro App or remote. You may spin it in front of you like I did for my shot under the bridge or you can spin it over your head, both forms will give you pretty dramatic results. The burning sparks of steel that fly off will create bright orange and yellow trails of light.

Left: Original Photo//Right: Edited & Colored

If you have any other tips for steel wool and long exposure photos, be sure to leave a comment so others can benefit from that. Check out more GoPro photos I’ve taken: GoPro Photo Stream

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