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adventures in photography and other stuff


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Playing with Fire: Steel wool and light painting Photography

I have been admiring the cool images created by other photographers by burning steel wool – just a quick Google search of “steel wool photography” gives you some amazing results! I studied up and decided that I would celebrate Labor Day by treating myself to an awesome session of throwing fire around. It’s easy enough to find directions on how to create the sparks, Photojojo has a nice simple tutorial. But since you can do this with a nice long shutter speed, why not add in some traditional light-painting as well?

Finding people to help with this when you are friends with a bunch of volcanologists turned out to be really easy (surprising, I know). The most difficult part of this project was finding a place where we could do it. People tend to freak out and call the cops if you try this kind of thing in a public area. It took a bit of scouting, but we found a great location with a big stretch of wet sand well away from anything that might catch on fire.

Three light sources:

Three light sources in this image are the spinning steel wool, a headlamp held in the models hand, and red and blue light wands held together to paint the swirls. Awesome! It looks like some kind of magic yoga.

3 light sources give this picture its unique look: the spinning steel wool, a Chinese lantern and a blue light wand for "painting" the ground.

3 light sources give this picture its unique look: the spinning steel wool, a Chinese lantern and a blue light wand for “painting” the ground. Amazing image right out of the camera!

Another 3-source image: the spinning steel wool fire, a Chinese lantern, and a green headlamp light. The model has to hold very still for this kind of result, which can be a challenge when sparks are flying around you. But look at the epic results!

 Want to see more? I posted some more from this session on my Facebook page: Steely Joe Studio on Facebook.

I am sure this will not be my last attempt at this style of photography. I see this more as a warm-up run for even more amazing creations in the future!

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Tampa Bay Destination Wedding Photographers | Adriana and Bradley’s Garvan Woodland Gardens Celebration in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Garvan Woodland Gardens in the spring - you couldn't ask for a more beautiful wedding venue!

Garvan Woodland Gardens in the spring – you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful wedding venue!

Back when we lived in Arkansas, we had the opportunity to photograph a destination wedding in Florida. So it’s kind of funny that our first destination wedding after moving to Florida was in Arkansas! We had the honor of photographing Adriana and Brad’s beautiful spring wedding at the amazing Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas on May 25, 2013. The Gardens are one of the premier wedding locations in central Arkansas and truly unique venue.

The bride and her lovely bridesmaids. The fuscha and green color scheme worked perfectly for a garden wedding.

The bride and her lovely bridesmaids. The fuschia and green color scheme worked perfectly for a garden wedding.

The DIY bride is a huge trend right now. It allows the bride (and usually some helpful friends and family) to put a very personal touch on the day’s festivities. In this case, all the flowers were designed and executed by Adriana and friends. They did a great job!

The bride and groom mentally prepare before the ceremony. Although they didn't see each other before hand, they did do a quick prayer around the corner from each other. This can go a long way towards easing pre-wedding anxiety!

The bride and groom mentally prepare before the ceremony. Although they didn’t see each other before hand, they did do a quick prayer around the corner from each other. This can go a long way towards easing pre-wedding anxiety!

While it is now very common for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony, there are still those who choose to hold to the old tradition of keeping the bride and groom separated. In these cases, I highly recommend devising a creative way to make contact with your sweetie. You can use a corner, door, or even a blindfold to make sure the groom doesn’t peek. It is amazing how much this relaxes both parties before the ceremony.

The processional at Anthony Chapel. The tiny flower girl and ring bearer were quite the scene stealers!

The processional at Anthony Chapel. The tiny flower girl and ring bearer were quite the scene stealers!

The wedding ceremony at Anthony Chapel. This is a venue that needs no decoration!

The wedding ceremony at Anthony Chapel. This is a venue that needs no decoration!

For the folks who think this venue looks familiar, Anthony Chapel is another stunning work by E. Fay Jones, the mind behind Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista and Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs. Each is unique, but have a similar feel.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Holst

The new Mr. and Mrs. Holst

Anthony Chapel is located in the Celebration Garden, which provides many great portrait locations.

Anthony Chapel is located in the Celebration Garden, which provides many great portrait locations.

The first dance and reception details.

The first dance and reception details.

The wedding reception was held at the Quapaw Community Center in Hot Springs, a vintage building near the historic downtown area. The pink and green theme continued with a custom cake and a candy bar for guests to make their own favors. The groom’s cake celebrated the bride and groom’s favorite college teams – half Razorback and half Red Wolves. When it comes to feeding wedding cake to each other, the choice of naughty or nice always presents itself. You can see from the pictures which one this couple chose 😉

Time to cut the cake then time to party! DJ Xavier did a great job of getting everyone out on the dance floor.

Time to cut the cake then party! DJ Xavier from central Arkansas Entertainment did a great job of getting everyone out on the dance floor.

I love this image from the last dance of the bride and groom.

I love this image from the last dance of the bride and groom.

The bubble send off was the perfect way to end the day.

The bubble send off was the perfect way to end the day.

The lovely bride is my cousin, and I am very honored that I had the privledge to travel all the way from Florida to photograph this special day. It also gave me and Ed a chance to spend some time with relatives that we just don’t get to see often enough. In fact, they convinced us to go play mini golf after we finished shooting an all day wedding, which shows how much we like to spend time with them, because we would usually go back to the hotel and collapse!

A stroll through the Celebration Garden.

A stroll through the Celebration Garden.

Congratulations to Adriana and Brad! May you continue to be an example of God’s Love to everyone you meet.

Vendors

Photography: Steely Joe Studio Photography

Videography: Nick Burt

Music/DJ: Xavier Riley, Central Arkansas Entertainment

Wedding Venue: Garvan Woodland Gardens

Reception Venue: Quapaw Community Center