Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spinning steel wool with the Olympia Photographers meetup group

Night Fire

Spinning steel wool

For those that follow me here on the blog or on any of my social media outlets you know that I am a big fan of meeting up and shooting with local photographers.  Online communities are great, and I have made some great friendships, but there is something special about getting out and shooting with people in your local area.  When I lived in Arizona I was pretty active with a group there, and it made perfect sense that one of the first things I would do after moving to Olympia last year would be to find a local group here.  The group I first joined was the Olympia Photographers group.  For Olympia being a somewhat small town, the group has a good number of active members and is always attracting new members, I always have a good time at any event that the group does.  After looking through some of my older steel wool spinning images I thought it might be fun to put together a group meetup to get together and do some steel wool spinning photography.


More steel wool spinning

We had a great turn out, I think that there was somewhere around 25 photographers there although I didn’t actually count.  A number of people took turns actually spinning the steel wool and from the looks of the images uploaded on the page is any indication, there were some great images made.  I had a number of people tell me that they would like to get together and do this again.

What I hope you take away from this is that if you haven’t gotten out with local photographers and done something like this, or a more traditional photowalk, do so, you will take a lot out of it.  You will network with people in your area and you might learn a new trick or two as well.  If there are no groups in your area, start one, it doesn’t have to be a formal thing, just some like minded people who like to get together and make images.  I suspect that you will find more than a few willing participants.

Into the Tunnel

And even more steel wool spinning

There is one final thing I wanted to share in this blog post.  During this event I set my D7000 up to do some time lapse shooting of the night sky over downtown Olympia.  I haven’t done a lot of night time lapse shooting and I am always looking for opportunities practice a little.  The following video is the result of that shooting.  When I was shooting it I really didn’t think that I would be capturing any of the spinning steel wool, but as you can see, I did.  Next time we have an event like this I am actually going to try and time lapse the event, I can always go back and shoot the sky. :-)

Night sky over Olympia Washington from Scott Wood on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed the images in this post as much as I enjoyed being out with the meetup group and shooting them.

Posted in Photography

Meet Maggie

Let me introduce you to my friend’s dog Maggie.  I have to start by saying that I am not a pet photographer, that doesn’t mean that I don’t get an image every now and again that I am fond of, but trust me, my ratio of keepers to bad images is pretty terrible. :-)  I will also say though, I had a great time visiting my friend, you might know him as @The_Monarch on Twitter, and it was a blast getting a handful of images of Maggie that I was actually happy enough with to let the rest of the world see.  She was actually a very patient model and let me get a lot more shots than my dog Ursa has ever let me get.

I might share another shot or two of Maggie down the road, but I will start with this one for today.  This is also one of those very rare times where clicking on the image will do you no good at all, this image isn’t available for sale as a print.  You would have to ask @The_Monarch for one. :-)


Posted in Photography

The Pierce County Ferry at Steilacoom

Steilacoom Ferry from Scott Wood on Vimeo.

My day job has had me running really hard the last few months and while a real vacation doesn’t seem to be an option right now, I did take this past Friday off in hopes of “re-charging the batteries” a bit and getting out and doing a little shooting.  While I can’t say that a single day really helped with my work burnout level, it was nice to get out of the house with the sole goal of doing a little shooting.  I ended up fining myself in Steilacoom, WA near the Pierce County Ferry docks.

I have been to this location before, and always thought it would be a nice place for a time lapse video, and with their being a few puffy clouds in the sky on Friday I setup for that very purpose.  I had no idea that the ferry would come into dock, unload/reload, and then head back out again, but I am thrilled that it did, it sort of became the reason for the time lapse, even if it wasn’t when I started shooting.


Posted in Photography

Sailing Into The Sunset

I guess I should have titled this one “Sailing out of the sunset” instead of “Sailing into the Sunset” since the ferry was actually approaching its dock, but I thought that “into the sunset” sounded better.  This shot was captured on the Seattle waterfront after a long day of playing tourist at the EMP Museum at the Seattle Center.  When I saw the setting sun and the ferry approaching the dock, bracketed by the fireboat in the foreground, I knew that this was a shot I wanted to get.  The happy accident was the seagull flying into the scene as I was releasing the shutter.  There were actually a lot of seagulls in the area as the pier to the right in this image has an outdoor seating area for a seafood bar and I suspect that a lot of the patrons feed the birds.

I could have posted a version without the bird, since it was WAY out of focus, but I really do think that the bird makes this shot and helps frame the ferry out on Elliot Bay.  I must confess that I did enhance the colors a bit with Topaz Adjust.  Topaz has asked me to evaluate their entire collection of plugins and this is the first image I have done since installing the package.  Over the next few weeks I will be using more of the plugins and will be reporting my thoughts on them here.

I hope you enjoy this image as much as I do, and please click on the image to see a larger version.

Posted in Photography

Spinning steel wool – a front yard adventure

Fire In My Yard

Things have been very hectic lately with my day job and not only have I not had much of a chance to do blog updates, I haven’t had much of a chance to get out and do any shooting.  I did get out Friday night into my front yard and did a little steel wool spinning.  For those that don’t know what spinning steel wool is, it is basically lighting steel wool on fire and spinning it around.  You do this by putting the wool inside of a metal cooling whisk and attaching some sort of a cord to the end of the whisk.  Once you light it, it will burn for about 20 to 30 seconds depending on how fast you fling it around.  While you would typically look for a more scenic place to do this, my front yard worked, and I was just playing around after digging the supplies out for an upcoming photo meetup group outing.

Posted in Photography