This photographer's 360 degree long exposure of wire wool is captivating
“I’m not the first to try it I must admit, but I don’t think I’ve seen an image quite like mine, as of yet.”
These are the words of Rod Evans, 41, and he’s describing the remarkable image he created on his front yard in Lismore near Byron Bay, Australia, with nothing but a spool of hot steel wool to spin and a 360 degree camera – take a look.
“What I love about this image is the natural looking swirls,” Rod told the Press Association. “It reminds me of lava rock that I’ve seen near the ocean. It has the exact same patterns swirling throughout it.”
Rod’s camera, an Insta360 ONE, uses two fish-eye lenses to take two hemispherical images which it then stitches together – capturing a full, 360 degree view of the environment in which it sits.
For the image above, he sat the camera about two metres in front of him and set it on a 15-second timer, so he could get into position with his spinning steel wool, before taking a 20-second exposure – he then added a “tiny planet” distortion to the image and made some slight Photoshop adjustments.
The dazzling 360 degree picture is one of a collection of stunning long-exposure pieces Rod has made with steel wool in more regular perspectives.
Nine years ago Rod was editing music videos for a living, working on over 25 with various artists across the world, but he now works as a primary school teacher while exploring the world of photography.
“I must say that I’m new to the whole world of 360 imagery but I am quite experienced with spinning steel wool,” said Rod. “The tool I use to spin steel wool is basically an egg whisk attached to skipping rope cable.
“I use a jump rope because the handle has a ball-bearing where the cable joins to it which makes for blister-less spinning.
“I can’t tell you how much skin I took off my fingers in the past by spinning with a rope or dog leash.
“I should highlight the dangers of spinning steel wool, especially in hot dry conditions. It is a huge fire hazard so the utmost care needs to be taken.”
So, what can we expect from Rod for the future?
“If I tried this type of image again, I would place the (360 degree) camera on a surface other than grass, maybe some flat concrete covered in graffiti like a skatepark or something like that,” said Rod.
“I have a few other ideas I’d like to try with this camera but I won’t mention them just yet, I don’t really like to talk about my ideas until after I’ve gone out and done them.”