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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #1
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Newbie question about White Balance

I am using the GL2 to do weddings and I was wondering about White Balancing. I have been letting the cam auto set the white Balance. My question is: should I set the W.B.? or is it better to let the cam do it? Some of my shoots have been a little yellow lately and I was wondering if this is from not setting the W.B. myself?
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Old June 17th, 2005, 11:05 AM   #2
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I never use the auto-WB (combined with auto-exposure, it can be baaad). I usually just switch back and forth between the indoor and outdoor presets as needed. I do keep white cards with me for custom white balancing if need (ie: weird flourescents or something), but don't really need them.

I go for as neutral an image as possible when shooting and adjust it after the fact.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 02:59 AM   #3
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IMO manual white balance is always best if you can obtain it. Sometimes in a run-and-gun situation you may have to go with auto WB -- which is not bad on the GL2.

But you will get better, more consistent, results with manual WB. The best way to understand this is just test it out for yourself. Tape some footage with auto, tungsten (if indoors), and manual WB. Load into your NLE and compare results. Or at least view on a calibrated monitor, or TV.

These kind of questions are best answered by experimenting yourself. Tape is cheap. Experiment, test, review and record results.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Randall
I am using the GL2 to do weddings and I was wondering about White Balancing. I have been letting the cam auto set the white Balance. My question is: should I set the W.B.? or is it better to let the cam do it? Some of my shoots have been a little yellow lately and I was wondering if this is from not setting the W.B. myself?
Go to your local camera shop and ask for a Kodak Neutral Grey card and carry it in your camera kit. It is an 8x10 card middle grey on one side and pure white on the other - other things will work but this is made as a colour and exposure reference card for photography and for certain will not have any colour casts. On the shoot put it in the scene under the same light as your subject, zoom in on it and manually set white balance and then take it away and frame your shot. You could even use the grey side to set exposure as well.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #5
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The Kodak card will definitely work. But easier and cheaper you can buy a 2x3-foot white foam-core board from most any discount store like Wal-mart for about $2.00.

If you want to get fancy for a few dollars more, go to your local art supply store and pick up not only the white board, but also several boards in various shades of light-blue. Doing a WB to a light-blue card will give you an image that is warmer (redder) The bluer the card the redder the resulting image. This is probably not necessary with a GL2, but if you ever shoot with other camers (like Sonys), then you may prefer this.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pete Wilie
The Kodak card will definitely work. But easier and cheaper you can buy a 2x3-foot white foam-core board from most any discount store like Wal-mart for about $2.00.

If you want to get fancy for a few dollars more, go to your local art supply store and pick up not only the white board, but also several boards in various shades of light-blue. Doing a WB to a light-blue card will give you an image that is warmer (redder) The bluer the card the redder the resulting image. This is probably not necessary with a GL2, but if you ever shoot with other camers (like Sonys), then you may prefer this.
Agreed - I suggest the Kodak card because a:it is a neutral white; and b: the grey side is good for manually setting exposure as that middle grey is what light meters, ISO numbers, etc are all calibrated to.
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Old September 6th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #7
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Whit balance

Why do some people refer to red as warm when in fact it is cool on the color temp scale? Blue is warm and red is cool.
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Old September 6th, 2005, 08:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Matt Helme
Why do some people refer to red as warm when in fact it is cool on the color temp scale? Blue is warm and red is cool.
On a color wheel, red is a warm color - blue is a cool color. It's refering to the perceived 'emotion' of the color.

However, if you white balance to one of these, you'll end up w/ the opposite: balancing to a red hue will cool down the image; balancing to a blueish hue will warm up the image.

If you're refering to the physical attribute of the light wavelength, for all i know you could be right - but people generally don't think in terms of physics phacts. ;-)
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Old September 6th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #9
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Matt,

In addition to what Patrick said, think about it this way. Red is (cooler) and Blue is (hotter) in terms of temperture of a flame. But, we usually associate cold to blue and hot to red, as in the indicators on water faucets, and in terms of describing the look of a picture.

=gb=
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Old September 6th, 2005, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Randall
I am using the GL2 to do weddings and I was wondering about White Balancing. I have been letting the cam auto set the white Balance. My question is: should I set the W.B.? or is it better to let the cam do it? Some of my shoots have been a little yellow lately and I was wondering if this is from not setting the W.B. myself?
I use Ed Pierce's Digital Calibration Target (www.photovisionvideo.com). Definitely use a custom WB if possible. 90% of most videographer's color quality issues are caused by incorrect WB settings. Pick up that target. It made life alot easier for me. I use the large target so I can gather as much accurate room light as possible before balancing.
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