With a camera in hand and his face wearing an innocent but mischievous grin, he grabs the safety goggles and invites us to follow him. “I thought you said we were going to do some light painting photography?” (Image in my head: us in a studio covered in paint with cool lighting and a few snap shots). “We are… Kind of.” He replies.
The gentleman I’m speaking of plays a magnificent role in the light attracts light equation of this post. Matt’s desire for an abundant life is shown not only through his artwork but the unmistakable joy he shares for nature, people and all the organic experiences in between. World, meet Matt Stone!
On this clear evening of darkness lit with bright stars, I allowed my trust to follow his footprints in the sand as we headed to the bay shore just over the main bridge in Panama City Beach.
This is Rob, another brave smile joining us on this fantastic mini adventure.
Allow me introduce to you the art of steel wool photography.
Step 1: Gather your tools. You’ll need a rope, steel wool, a metal kitchen whisk, a lighter, protective clothing with goggles and gloves, an open mind and fun loving people.
Oh, and let’s not forget the camera! No, not your iPhone 12 point two-cool-for-school but a legit camera or as I call it, a “big kid camera”. Matt used a Canon 7D Mark II with an 8 mm fisheye lense.
Step 2: Find a safe environment with nothing flammable within range and preferably next to (or in our case, directly in) a large body of water.
Step 3, 4 and 5: Let the fun continue! Set your camera up properly with a 20-30 second shutter speed. Your partner in crime then gets in place and starts the show. By rubbing a lighter or 9 volt battery against the wool, it will start sparking but won’t really produce any flames (thankfully). This is go time in which the holder swings the rope in circles to create a globe styled design with hot ambers lighting the sky. Bouncing off rocks, sizzling to the water and circling the masters head, the camera captures several strands of the ambers path. A strong enough launch to have me dancing and dodging a few red hot drops on shore!
Here are just a few of the shots we captured that night. If I would have recorded audio along side these episodes, you’d witness a few reactions of amazement, a couple screeches of fire kissing the skin and an abundunce of pure laughter. (Sounds like an entertaining evening to me!)
The following night they returned and created some new angles with vibrant colors under a local bridge. Brilliant!
Another art form is light painting photography. Simply put, it’s just a magical way to enhance a photo with demensional light designs. We had some light-hearted fun with it! Pun intended.
Leave it to Matt to take my “I wonder if you…” thoughts and turn them into a beautiful reality. I mentioned creating a heart. He did the rest!
Matt, thank you for the beginning of a new chapter to this beautiful book of art, freedom and universal peace. Everyone needs a modern day super hero 😉
If you want to check out more of his work please check out his insta @stone_sharp_images.
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