Fire Photography: Welding Torch Striker

Fire Photography: Welding Torch Striker

June 20, 2017

 lackluster photo photography by Austin Smith

lackluster photo
photography by Austin Smith

Well, that's pretty lackluster, right?

If  you aren't familiar with a striker, (pictured above) its a handheld sparking tool used to safely ignite gas and essentially "turn on" welding torches or bunsen burners, and other gas using tools.

I was looking to photograph a dazzling result.  My first thought was,
"Those sparks aren't going to cut it."  

So, naturally the next step is to introduce a kitchen lighter.

The results are a display of orange with white sparks, and a sapphire-like blue around the edges.  
But, the kitchen lighter covered up a significant portion to the flames.

Adjustments only led to similar obstruction, then the main lighter ran out.  It took some rooting around but I found a giant match lighter.  The lighter had been lost between some boxes in storage.

Butane turns out to be something to appreciate in its aged form since it most likely is why the teal and red spots initially appeared.


I wanted to capture the moment butane ignites so I increased the shutter speed.

 1/1250 at f/4.0

1/1250 at f/4.0

Taking this photo at 1/1250 resulted in capturing ignition spirals in the butane gas cloud at the point of first ignition from the striker's sparks.

I had so much fun working with the striker and butane, but to any other photographers out there:

Don't try this at home.