Fusing Metal to Glass | Risks of Steel Wool Photography

Steel Wool fused to a UV Filter

I’m pretty sure this was the shot that killed my UV filter:

Steel Wool Photography | Scripps Pier | La Jolla, CA

What you are seeing is a bit of flaming hot steel wool hitting the filter on my camera, and fusing itself to the glass.

Steel Wool fused to a UV Filter

This (brand new) filter is pretty much toast

The good news is, with the exception of the photo where the damage occurred, I wasn’t able to see any defect in the rest of my photos from that evening, even after the damage occurred. Sometimes defects on a filter (or front element) aren’t very noticeable because the camera can’t focus that close.

Protect Your Lens

In general, I’m the kind of photographer who doesn’t like to cover my expensive lens with a cheap filter. However, after hearing horror stories of steel wool fusing to the front of unprotected lenses during a Steel Wool Photoshoot, I went and bought one specifically for this meetup. I’m sure glad I did because there aren’t words to describe how upset I’d be if that bit of metal was fused to the front element of my Canon 24-105 L lens!!

Precautions for Steel Wool Photography

  1. Put a filter on your camera
  2. Wear long sleeves (the sparks only sting for a second, or so I’ve been told)
  3. Wear a hoodie or a hat (you don’t want to singe your hair, either)

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