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Old August 6th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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White balance solution for indoors

Alright so I am shooting inside of a house where there are a few windows and I want to set the white ballance to the right color temperature for indoors however the windows are making the white walls look sort of amber when I manual white ballance from a white flash card. When I manual white ballance from the wall I get a faint blue hue.

I did some reading a few months ago about using gels to filter the outside light but in this house I have a 2"2'x3" in the view of one shot and behind me are three windows of the same size providing light as well. For another shot I have a set of double doors with windows size 2"2'X5"2' With this many variations of window sizes I am thinking that gels would get pretty expensive.

The reason I am posting is because I don't know what all I can do in this situation. There may be other solutions that I am not aware of. I would like to get some comments on this before I drop money on gels.

BTW, the camera I am shooting with is an HV30.

Terry.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #2
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Alright so I am shooting inside of a house where there are a few windows and I want to set the white ballance to the right color temperature for indoors however the windows are making the white walls look sort of amber when I manual white ballance from a white flash card. When I manual white ballance from the wall I get a faint blue hue.

I did some reading a few months ago about using gels to filter the outside light but in this house I have a 2"2'x3" in the view of one shot and behind me are three windows of the same size providing light as well. For another shot I have a set of double doors with windows size 2"2'X5"2' With this many variations of window sizes I am thinking that gels would get pretty expensive.

The reason I am posting is because I don't know what all I can do in this situation. There may be other solutions that I am not aware of. I would like to get some comments on this before I drop money on gels.

BTW, the camera I am shooting with is an HV30.

Terry.

Terry,

Generally speaking you don't want to white balance on the ROOM. YOu want to white balance on the SUBJECT you'll be shooting. So unless you're doing architectural video - you want to concentrate on getting the PEOPLE correct. If you do that, you can let the room do what it wants.

In other words if the people look good, a bluish or amber wall somewhere in the frame is no big deal.

So set up your talent, then push in so that they fill most of the frame and take your WB reading from the faces. Try to position them so that one isn't primarily lit by a window and another from a lamp, or you'll never get a good reading. Close the window shade or turn off the lamp.

If the people look healthy and well-lit the room can vary.

Yes, it's best to kill sources of light that conflict. However, there's a lot of great video shot where the key is tungsten (amber) and the rim or fill light skews daylight (blue) and things are fine.

Remember, that if you're just using an LED camera screen to monitor, you're not likely to see the real difference in this. Camera LEDs are notorious for making shots look BETTER than what's going to tape.

That's the place to begin. Good luck.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 03:34 PM   #3
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I'd use a daylight white balance preset. If there are lamps in the shot, replace the bulbs with fluorescent daylight ones, or wrap CTB gel around the existing bulbs (not letting the gel touch the bulb). You can also try manually white balancing by holding your card so it picks up a bit of both different types of light.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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I'd use a daylight white balance preset.
This (if your camera's preset actually looks good), or do it manually outside (under direct sunlight).
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Old August 6th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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My main concern is the light from the window blowing out the whites and just making it look terrible. The shot is where a guy runs down the stairs and I pan with him down the stairs to a window that will be at the end of the stairs but i'm afraid that the whites will be so blown that it will make the subject dark and we won't be able to see his expression very vividly.. I guess I should test this theory before having concerns that it won't work..

Thank you all for the insight!
Terry.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 02:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
My main concern is the light from the window blowing out the whites and just making it look terrible. The shot is where a guy runs down the stairs and I pan with him down the stairs to a window that will be at the end of the stairs but i'm afraid that the whites will be so blown that it will make the subject dark and we won't be able to see his expression very vividly.. I guess I should test this theory before having concerns that it won't work..

Thank you all for the insight!
Terry.
Then it's probably not a matter of white balance, but one of the window at the end of the shot blowing out the iris.

A simple solution is to break the sequence into two shots. The first following the character down the stairs. The second shot set up for a proper exposure on the window - then lose the character at the end of the descent for a moment, and pick them up running into the window frame.

The audience should buy it as a single action and you can adjust exposure so that the subject will be properly lit for their (much brighter) position at the window frame.

Good luck and let us know how it comes out.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 12:07 PM   #7
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I have to keep it a single seamless shot though... :(
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Old August 12th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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Get some Scrim material and place it over the window. You can either cut it to fit the window and tape it in or you can just cover the outside of the window if all you'll be doing is shooting from the inside and catching the window.

That way you'll even be able to see the scenery outside of the window.

-Garrett
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Old August 12th, 2009, 06:01 PM   #9
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Terry, the best WB solution I've found for static mixed lighting if your cam has WB presets .. is the Expodisc. I've now got both models, fast and accurate. Don't get the cheap Asian ones off Ebay they're not.

ExpoImaging - ExpoDisc Portrait

Cheers.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #10
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expodisc..interesting
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Old August 18th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #11
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expodisc..interesting
The 'warm' version is great for talent. I read where you should get large diameter ones to use on all your cameras, and I nearly did.

But with the Canon XH-A1 that would mean removing the lens hood each time to fit one, so I got the 72mm versions, not cheap but great. They just clip on so I use them as short time lens caps during the shoot.

Cheers.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #12
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Shoot it at night. Pound some tungsten lights in through the windows if you need to simulate daylight.
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