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Live welding arc photography

Live welding arc photography

RE: Live welding arc photography

That photo looks suspiciously "rendered" by an art department.

But I've seen some really neat photography and videos taken that show the arc and metal puddle quite distinctly in a video. Some of these I believe are taken with a standard video camera (e.g. Go-Pro) arranged to shoot through a welder's glass, others are taken with specialty cameras with "high dynamic range" i.e. a lot of turn-down on the sensitivity of the digital CMOS photo sensors.

www.weldingtipsandtricks.com has a lot of said videos, you might try contacting the owner and asking him.

RE: Live welding arc photography

There are HDR cameras that people use for this, but they still use some filtering.
You have to have a camera that will take raw files, and then you have to be able to adjust all intensity/color/contrast settings in post processing.

I would just play with filters and see what you can get. Maybe something not quite as dark as a welders lens. And also consider gold plated (to keep out heat) and a combination of blue and gray filters so that the color comes out better.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: Live welding arc photography

Use a square filter holder for your camera instead of the typical round screw on filters. Cut a welder's shield No. 10 filter lens to fit the holder. Shoot away. I would bracket the exposures so that you get good light response and clarity. You might need a polarizing filter ahead of the square filter holder.

Use a moderately long lens (at least 100mm focal length) with f2.8 so that you can get the light range you need. The longer lens will put you farther away from the weld spatter. Use a tripod.

Will take some trial and error but with digital photography, not a big deal.

Agree with btb....I have never seen welding that clean with no spatter at all!

RE: Live welding arc photography


Thank you all. A good starting point for me.

Best Regards

RE: Live welding arc photography

My brother's welding helmet has a clear visor that darkens on 'arc strike'. It has some electronics as part of the visor. Can you rig something up using a similar visor. Use as small an aperture (not 2.8) as you can to maximise the depth of field in focus and minimise damage to the photo array. Use supplemental illumination as needed. Also, as Ron noted, a longer distance to the object lengthens the depth of field in focus and minimises effect of arc 'spatter'.


RE: Live welding arc photography

Not quite off topic.

Does anyone have a FLIR One smartphone camera attachment that allows some thermal imaging? It's a relatively inexpensive device (less than $300 CAN). I was thinking of picking one up, but, wanted to hear from someone that had one before I do.


RE: Live welding arc photography

Hi Dik,

Thank you for the suggestions. Its one more option to try after the easier ones.

Best Regards

RE: Live welding arc photography

Most remote-operated welding machines have a small (light, UV, and heat-rated!) video camera focused right at the weld puddle and feed wire. This goes up from the weld puddle to a screen at the operator's station.

Expensive? Likely. Certainly more than a welders helmet and standard camera, but I don't know the cost and value of your advertising production.

RE: Live welding arc photography

I was thinking of 'jury rigging' it using a welder's helmet so the weldment could be viewed before, during, and after the welding process. Arc sensitive helmets are quite common in these environs. Shouldn't be too costly and provides some protection to the camera and photo array.


RE: Live welding arc photography


This is how I do it, with varying results (and without any post-processing), but you can add a line with a button to the cam to act as a remote control, so you can take as many pics as you want. Usually I get about 30-40% usable pics.

The fixed shade lenses cost nothing, you'll have to change them anyway depending on the welding current.


RE: Live welding arc photography

I have one of the IR attachments for my iPhone. Was a birthday present from my son! It works pretty well. I compared it to my higher resolution $20k FLIR camera and found it to be pretty good!

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