Author Topic: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge?  (Read 1372 times)
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How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « on: September 25, 2022, 02:44:56 AM » Author: 108CAM
Been wondering this for quite some time as I simply don't know how people get such great photos of energised arc tubes and their discharge streams while also not getting burnt or blinded in the process.
How do people do this? It seems that this style of lamp photography is becoming more popular and surely there has to be a way to do it without getting burnt or blinded.
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Re: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « Reply #1 on: September 25, 2022, 02:49:36 AM » Author: dor123
Using good quality cameras with manual focus, shutter speed, ISO and aperture size and using ND filters?
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Re: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « Reply #2 on: September 25, 2022, 03:18:12 AM » Author: AngryHorse
I’ve never taken a picture of a high pressure arc, but have viewed them through two pairs of sunglasses!, with today’s iPhone cameras that are pretty good, I suppose you could try it that way, but have the camera behind the sunglasses?
Saying that I think I do have a photo of a 400 watt mercury arc taken behind a dark screen?
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Re: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « Reply #3 on: September 25, 2022, 03:21:49 AM » Author: 108CAM
The only photos I have of an energised 400w MV lamp are of a short test when it wasn't fully warmed up. The camera also turned it green. I haven't taken any photos of any mercury arcs as I don't have any clear MV lamps.
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Re: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « Reply #4 on: September 25, 2022, 03:40:12 AM » Author: joseph_125
It depends on what camera you have. If you have a camera that allows for manual exposure and external lens filters (DSLR and some compact point and shoots) you can look into changing the exposure settings to get a clear picture of a arc. Depending on the arc, ND (Neutral Density) filters would also help.

For cameras such as cell phone cameras, you could try turning down the exposure value but I find that doesn't yield as good results as with using filters or using a small aperture.

The easiest way to learn is to just grab your camera, light a lamp, and play around with the settings and take note of which ones yield good results.
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Re: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « Reply #5 on: September 25, 2022, 09:17:03 AM » Author: Rommie
I’ve never taken a picture of a high pressure arc, but have viewed them through two pairs of sunglasses!, with today’s iPhone cameras that are pretty good, I suppose you could try it that way, but have the camera behind the sunglasses?
Saying that I think I do have a photo of a 400 watt mercury arc taken behind a dark screen?

I've done that, but the glasses colour the resulting image too much, not sure of the best method TBH  :-\
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Re: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « Reply #6 on: September 25, 2022, 09:54:21 AM » Author: Max
If you want to take pictures of HID lamps during operation, then I strongly advise you to buy a neutral density filter to protect your camera sensor and to slow the shutter time down so you don't get those ugly bright-and-dark stripes in the output pictures. As far as cameras are concerned, those in current cell phones are now good enough for most photography. Just make sure your front lens is clean and that you use the "pro" mode in your app where you can control key parameters such as ISO setting, shutter time, white balance and exposure compensation... everything you need to get the results you want.

Also, you'll have to learn how to use your camera properly, because auto modes are more likely than not to screw with the rendering (like mercury lamps turning green). So, spend time learning about photography if you don't know anything about it already (yes, there's work involved), there's plenty of great resources available online for beginners.
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Re: How Do People Get Great Photos of Arc Tubes & Electrical Discharge? « Reply #7 on: October 10, 2022, 01:22:00 AM » Author: bulb_tester2009
Because I don't have a professional camera, my practice is to put a green filter for welding on the lens of my phone, and then use the image editor to filter out the green tone after taking a photo.
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