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Old February 29th, 2004, 04:46 PM   #1
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White Balancing - Which is correct ?

Two questions.

1) If seting white balance manually, should it be done before adjusting any other settings like aperture, adding filters such as ND both internal and external or done after all that?

2) Is white balance best done manually when videoing sunrises and sunsets or left on auto?
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Old February 29th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #2
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1) ND, exposure settings, shutter speed etc. are independent of the color setting. The important thing is to make sure that you have a proper exposure on the source you are using for your white balance. If you are using a filter that incorporates a color tint (like a warm promist), white balance before adding the filter. Likewise, if you are using color gel on your lights, white balance before adding the gel.

When shooting outside, one has a choice of balancing in the sun or in shade. My preference is to balance in the shade as this will make the sunlit areas warmer. For certain effects you may want to experiment.

2) If you want to keep the reddish tones of sunrise and sunset, it would be best to either balance to a standard daylight setting or put the camera on the default daylight setting. Auto may eliminate some of the warm tones .

A lot of this has to do with personal preference and the particular shot.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #3
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You should WB through any filters and at the correct exposure (filters can effect exposure). It depends on the look you want for the sunset. Both manual WB and Auto WB may render the sunset/sunrise too cool. If I'm trying to let the tones go warmer I use the daylight setting or stop white balancing several hours before sunset.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 06:05 PM   #4
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Not any filter.

Jeff wrote <You should WB through any filters ...>

The word "any" is what makes this statement erroneous, I'm sure it was a typo.

White balancing through a neutral density is not a problem as it only affects the passage of light and not temperature of the color.

White Balancing is basically adjusting the camera's response to ambient light in order to give you correct skin tones based on either 5600 degrees Kelvin, (Daylight), or 3200 degrees Kelvin, (Tungsten). Any color effect filter you add will change the picture accordingly, after, white bablncing with a "clean" lens.

If you want to keep your color effect by using a filter, such as the example Charles gave with a warming ProMist, you have to WB BEFORE adding the filter or the white balance will neutralize the effect of the filter.

Although most filters will affect your exposure, compensating for the addition of a filter is a very simple matter and will not change your color settings.

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Old March 1st, 2004, 03:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the helpfull info.

On the same subject but not in the original question I have come across on another older thread to help avoid vertical smear when videoing sunsets and sunrises to use a 'low' shutter speed. 1/50th I think it refered too but the majoriy of advice seems to be higher shutter speeds.

Are higher shutter speeds the correct way to go or is it just preference on what you want the result to look like?

I have videoed only a few sunrises/sunsets but it's really been spur of the moment thing and I cannot remember what filters I used, when I white balanced etc so I don't know what I'm comparing too. My fault I know!

So I'm thinking for a general setup using Canon XL1 and manual 16x lens to use both built in ND Filters, Add a ND8. Then either use the standard daylight white balance setting or a manual setting from earlier in the day like Jeff suggested. Focus manually.
The bit I'm unsure about is a general guideline for shutter speed and aperture and whether to lock the exposure so what do you reckon?

I don't get the chance to do many and when I do well you haven't got much time to experiment. I did try an orange filter once and when I reviewed it the beginning looked fine but the picture became too dark too quickly. I probably had settings all wrong!
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Old March 1st, 2004, 05:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the correction Rick. When I said any I was referring to the internal and/or external ND filters Gareth mentioned in his post. Some filters should be WB through and others should not, as in Charles' examples. I WB through UV, ND and POL's. Other filters, I may or may not WB through, depending on the effect I'm after.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 06:14 PM   #7
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No sweat Jeff, just as I figgered! A typo.

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Old March 1st, 2004, 07:32 PM   #8
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Gareth- in the end, how the picture looks is totally up to you. It is a lot of fun to mess with the white balance to give the picture a colored-filter look. I'm sure you know this, but in case you don't, try it. point the camera at a green or blue surface and then WB, save the setting , then shoot. the results can be quite lovely. good luck!

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