White Balance

3 replies [Last post]
Roger Maytum
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Joined: Apr 7 1999

I often have to shoot with a mixture of daylight and various artificial light sources combined. My camera (NV-DX100) says that I should put the lens cap on and point to the source. I've done this, but haven't been overimpressed with the results.

Is it better to point the lens at the subject to obtain an accurate white balance?

Can anyone with experience suggest the most accurate route to achieve good results.

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Roger Maytum

Roger Maytum

Jim
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Joined: Sep 23 1999

Roger, my experience of shooting with mixed light sources has lead me to the opinion that it is almost impossible to get good results. Whatever setting you use will not suit every part of the picture, because different levels of light from each source will fall on various parts of the scene. The best advice I've read is to eliminate all but one light source. If this is not possible, I'm afraid you'll have to put up with less than perfect colour balance.

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Jim

Christian Lett
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Joined: Apr 26 1999

Roger,

As Jim suggests, if you can get away with it, lose the artificial lights if you're shooting in daylight - try using a reflector if you need to fill in any shadows on a bright sunny day (We use a big sheet of polystyrene mounted on a plywood frame) and close the iris down a couple of stops to avoid over-exposure.

If you still want to use artificials or even just want to take a white balance reading prior to making a shot (especially if uing more than one camera), use a piece of white card in front of your subject and then set the balance. Pointing the camera at the source won't really do any good because you're shooting reflected light, not direct light.

Another tip - try balancing the artificial lights with 1/2 blue gel filters to daylight correct them (this assumes halogen tungsten lights). Avoid at all costs using household flourescent tubes as, in my experience, you get a nasty yellow/green cast.

Christian.

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Christian J. Lett
[email=clett@nationalexpress.co.uk]clett@nationalexpress.co.uk[/email]

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

Roger Maytum
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Joined: Apr 7 1999

Jim & Christian. Thanks guys. Some very useful tips which I have noted. I am filming this weekend and your tips will be invaluable. Thanks again.

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Roger Maytum

Roger Maytum