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Old September 6th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #1
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White balancing an XL2 using Warm Cards

I bought a warm card package to do do better white balancing with my XL2 camera. The package is made of one warm 1 card, one Warm 2 card, one Warm 3 card , one minus green and one warm 1/2 cards.

W A R M C A R D S - White Balance Reference System

Has anyone used warm cards? Unfortunately, I did not instruction informing which card use when.

Would some one know under which lighting condition I should be using those cards?

In three weeks from now I will be shooting (for the first time) a wedding within a church. I want to make sure I get the best color with my XL2 camera.

I would really appreciate to get information from anyone who has been using warm cards.

Regards!
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Old September 7th, 2008, 12:15 AM   #2
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Hi Daniel,

As you know, the warm cards effectively skew the camera's color balance in an attempt to improve the warmth of objects (faces, skin tone, etc). With a bit of effort we could instead tweak the XL-2 presets or have a similar effect using color correction in post production.

Since skewing color balance is an artistic expression, we won't find manufacturers provide much for instructions (they assume we know what we're doing once we've bought the product). Factors like mood/psychology have both overt and subliminal effect - well documented in domains such as marketing:

Color Psychology and Marketing

YouTube - Color: And our perception of it

At any rate, your major consideration filming a church wedding is illumination. Most churches have low light and you're not going to be able to use external lighting. So be sure to open the iris as wide as possible, slow down the shutter speed and try to keep the gain down - you don't want noise or a grainy video, something you don't want to discover until you get to post (hard to detect in the tiny XL-2 screen). And of course, the greater your distance to the bride and groom, the less light that reaches your lens.

So perhaps you might go with a slight blue warm card for the wedding, saving the darker blue for outside shots and the reception - where you have more light to play with and can emote a cheerie, warmer post-wedding events (keeping the wedding more neutral/balanced).

Lots of luck, Michael
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Old September 7th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #3
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Everything Michael said, but let me add that the Minus Green is very useful anywhere that you are in a situation with existing fluorescent lighting. It takes that nasty green-yellow out, so everyone doesn't look seasick.

As far as the information is concerned, if you click on the "FAQs" on their web site, most of the information you need is there - you can just "print," or save the whole thing as a PDF for future reference. It saves as regular black on white, rather than the web page's white on black, which is a bonus.

Here are the FAQs: W A R M C A R D S - White Balance Reference System
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Old September 7th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #4
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Thanks Jack and Michael,

Jack, before submitting this thread I went and read the FAQ from the WARMCARD website. I was not please with the information. I am looking for more practical experiences using the cards.

I really liked the information provided by Michael, it gives some kind of guidelines for using the Warm 1, 2 and 3 cards.

As per the information you've provided with the Minus green this is exactly what I am looking for.

Regards!
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Old September 8th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #5
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Here is answer I've received from Doug Jensen at Vortex Media.

It's actually quite simple. With the four shades of warm (1/2, 1, 2, 3) you just choose how much warming you want. A higher number equals more warming effect. How much warming you want at any given time is purely subjective and depends on the look you want to achieve, your particular camera, the shooting situation, the location, client requirements, etc. Only YOU can decide which card would be the best one (if any) to use at any given time.

The Minus Green card is for getting a perfect white balance with NO WARMING under common fluorescent lighting. A normal white balance doesn't eliminate the green cast of fluorescent lighting like the Minus Green card does.

I hope that helps.
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