Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Miscellaneous Techniques › Filming a Welder – Need Filters???
- September 15, 2009 at 7:25 PM #37628
Howdy, a friend of mine is a welder, and he’s going to build a steady-tracker type unit in exchange for a short business profile video for his website.
My question is about shooting the actual welding. I know the arc is so bright it will damage your eye to look at. Does anyone know anything about pointing a video camera at it?
Is there a certain filter you need?
I would think if the arc was bright enough to hurt a human eye it could potentially damage the fragile circuitry of a modern camcorder.
I don’t want to ruin my camera in exchange for a steady-tracker…
Filming it is hard only because of exposure challenges. If shooting video, throwing it in auto aint nuttin’ but a thang. You can play with different shutter settings to your liking and you’ll have no problem watching this all through the LCD screen in real time.
…assuming you’re not shooting with an old tube camera, anyway. 😉
Looks like you’re using a semi-pro camera so you should have a couple of ND filters on it. I rarely if ever use auto exposure. With autoex, you’re completely at the mercy of the cam’s exposure response time. If you use the ND filters, you’ll have far more control over the scene. I’ve shot torch welding, arc and foundry furnaces in action and have used ND filters every time with great results. However, there’s nothing stopping you from running test footage to see which method will get the results you can live with.
Heh, thanks again. I figured I would be able to dial it in altering exposure, and or ND filter if I needed to. I do a lot of weddings so I’m used to flipping ND filters on and off on the fly. I was just concerned about the arc damaging the CCDs. Which, it sounds like you guys have experience with that, and it should be good to go!
Thanks for the info Grinner and Composite!
As a frequent welder I must caution you not so much about the intense light but about weld spatter. welds will frequently “explode” and throw molten metal around. The spatter can hit your lens and it will stick to the surface. There is a substantial chance of cratering under the blob. You only have to examine the average welding hood (that the welder wears) to see plenty of spatter. A UV or other expendable protective filter would be a real good idea.
Interestingly enough, I just shot the video in question earlier today. Imagine my surprise to find it at the top of the forums quick list. I was worried about pitting the lens. I used a clear face shield the welder had in the shop. I zip tied it on to the front of the camera and was good to go.