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Old August 6th, 2004, 07:25 AM   #1
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White balance - contrast

In shooting a scene, large yard, trees, flower beds, and the
sun is split throughout, meaning, bright sun is hitting some trees
on part of the yard, while others are deeply shaded, do you white
balance just the bright area? The camera will be shooting from
a shaded area. Thanks!
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Old August 6th, 2004, 07:40 AM   #2
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Personally I've always shot in auto white balance and only did
a small couple of corrections in post occasionally. So the question
perhaps is do you need to shoot manual white balance or not?
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Old August 6th, 2004, 07:44 AM   #3
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Hmm...maybe not, I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the generator
threads Rob.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 07:58 AM   #4
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Rob - would go automatic in say a nightclub where a band is playing and the lights are red, blue, green, etc?
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Old August 7th, 2004, 04:55 AM   #5
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I've even had it on auto white balance in a disco where it was
pitch black and all sorts of colored lights and lasers went off.
To my eye it performed flawlessly (white balance).

I'm wondering how you would white balance in such an environment
anyway. BUT, this is just a personal experience, yours may
vary. And as always, the best thing to do is test, test and then
do some more tests. What might work for me might not work
for you etc. And ofcourse my lighting conditions will never be
the same as yours.

For example. In this nightclub I would either do one of the following:

1) go there another night to run all sorts of tests. Both for white balance, but also for light levels etc. etc.

2) be early at the event you must shoot and do the tests then. I'm assuming they have rehearsels which you can attend and you can then ask them to mimic the lighting as closely as possible to the real thing lateron.

Good luck!
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Old August 7th, 2004, 08:54 AM   #6
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There are many schools of thought on this. Rob has obviously had good luck with the auto setting. I virtually never use it myself for fear that it will shift during a scene.

For the daylight scene as described, I would do a manual white balance in the shade which would give a nice warm feel to the sunny areas. In the nightclub, I would leave it in the standard 3200K setting, since that is the "base" illumination of interior lighting before it is colored with gels.
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Old August 7th, 2004, 09:06 AM   #7
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I'll second Charles' knock against auto white balance. Here's why. Sometimes it's great and works fine, but you never know when that'll be.

I was shooting something once, and walked in front of the lens. Unbeknownst to me, the camera white balanced to my body as it blocked the lens, and when I rolled again, that footage was screwed up.

At the very least, use the presets. Auto = evil.

Another opinion on that outdoor thing: I have a friend, a cameraman, who told me his method was to try to find something in the frame that was halfway sunnily lit, halfway in shade, fill the frame with it, and white balance, and that would give you a pretty "accurate" representation of reality. Haven't tried it myself. I'm assuming you could use a white shirt, piece of paper, etc., and just position it carefully, zoom in so half your frame is sunny, half shade, and do it to it.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 03:24 AM   #8
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Just to add that I totally agree with Charles & Josh. It's just that
it has seemed to work wonders for me and I was going to
process all of my footage in post quite heavily anyway, so a
slight color problem would not have been an issue since it was
going to change anyway.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 02:13 AM   #9
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I always white balance manually, but if light conditions are altering during the shoot aways do as Rob Lohman does, put camera on auto white balance.

On several occasions have done a three cam shoot (using three xl1) of stage shows with flashing lights, intel lights, strobes and fog machine. With three tapes recorded in iso plus a live mix to tape all three cams seem to white balance in unison. I can't tell the difference when switching from cam to cam and I've never had a complaint. Auto white balance is fine especially when using more than one cam. Works wonders for me too.

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