3 Ways to Film Better Arc Shots

One question that I get on a weekly basis is, “How do you film your arc shots?” or some rendition thereof. When I get asked the question, I normally explain that, unlike some channels, we have a camera person with some very nice camera equipment that knows how to set the camera for different scenarios.

Setting a camera to film a weld arc is very similar to how you set your power source for welding. If I asked you how you set your MIG welder to weld a piece of Steel, you would obviously need more information. You would probably follow up by asking for material thickness, position, bevel, etc. before responding with a helpful reply.


In the same way you set your welding machine differently for different scenarios, our camera person sets the camera based upon the light the weld is emitting, as well as his position in regards to the weld.

GTAW Arc Shot

That being said, you can get very good arc shots with nothing more than a cell phone and a passive welding filter. Here are 3 tricks to getting great arc shots with very little investment:

1.       Use a Light Shade: If you’ve ever tried to film your welds, you probably started by getting your old 10 or 11 passive shade and sticking your camera behind it. You’ve got the right idea, but what you’re forgetting is that the camera’s night eyes probably aren’t as good as a human’s. Cameras have a tough time “seeing” in the dark, so try an 8 or 9 shade and see if you get better results.

2.       Use Manual Focus: Before you put the filter in front of your camera, make sure you focus to the point you will be welding and turn off auto focus. By using auto focus the camera will refocus once the filter is put down and it will have a very hard time focusing on a live arc.

3.        Get a Glass Filter: Just like you can see better through a glass welding lens, so can your camera. If you want Instagram worthy arc shots, invest in a gold tinted glass filter. We use filters from Phillips Safety Equipment to get most of our shots.

Once you put these tips into practice and start filming Instagram worthy arc shots, be sure to share them with us by hash tagging #welddotcom.

Until next week … Have fun, stay safe and weld on!