Photographing welding… Sparks…Camera…Action!

Question

How do the CPN photographers manage to shoot tricky subject matter such as welding, in such a consistent way?

Answer

Well, the answer, in part, shares a key element with great comedy. It’s all about the timing. Seriously, we have to know exactly when to press the camera shutter. Plus we have to know which shutter speeds to use to give us the results we’re looking for.

Sparks fly as this MIG welder works on a bespoke audience seating project. Photographer Toby Smedley on location at the Audience Systems factory in Westbury. Images used for print and web.

Sparks fly as this MIG welder works on a bespoke audience seating project. Photographer Toby Smedley on location at the Audience Systems factory in Westbury. Images used for print and web.


Photographers: Toby Smedley, Dave Burrows, Simon Vine
Photography job type: Industrial


How do you get those amazing light trails?

Good question. If you want to have a go, we’d suggest using a good quality camera with manually adjustable settings. Begin with aperture and shutter speeds set in their mid range. So, f8 and 1/125 sec, for example. To achieve the effects we usually want we tend to go for slower shutter speeds. These are typically in the range of 1/15 sec to 1/4 sec.

A burst of fill flash can sometimes add some extra detail to a shot but much of the time will detract from the spectacular trails of glowing sparks.

Commercial shoot for a professional catering equipment manufacturer by Simon Vine. Factory Production, MIG Welding by Simon Vine Photography, Leeds

Commercial shoot for a professional catering equipment manufacturer by Simon Vine, Leeds. Factory Production, MIG Welding.

Blinded by the light…

Yes, you can seriously damage your eyesight if you don’t use heavily tinted welding goggles or a mask. Photokeratitis or ‘arc eye’ is very similar to snow blindness and can be very painful. There’s also nothing funny about being hit by errant sparks and tiny pieces of molten metal, so our advice is to always stand well back, always wear the appropriate safety clothing and adhere to the relevant Health and Safety guidelines.

On site industrial photography of manufacturing process. GMAW welder working on a commercial trailer chassis. Images for use online and for sales material.

On site industrial photography of manufacturing process. GMAW welder working on a commercial trailer chassis. Images for use online and for sales material. Industrial welder – gas, metal, sparks by David Burrows Photography, Manchester for Cartwright Group.

The CPN members all carry full Public Liability Insurance.

For more on photographing welding and laser cutting, see exposurephotography.uk/latest

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss an industrial, manufacturing or pharmaceutical project anywhere in the UK. Call Toby Smedley on 01273 474787 or email: cpn@exposurephotography.co.uk


Or if you’d like some more information about our unique UK-wide Commercial Photographers Network then contact us. Wherever you are, we have a photographer near you!

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2017-07-13T20:31:59+00:00 June 17th, 2017|
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