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Getting a custom white balance

From: Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking

Video: Getting a custom white balance

Brian Liepe: Sometimes these cameras have a hard time figuring out what pure white is. Sometimes there is a green tint or a magenta tint, or sometimes it's too warm or too cool, and the white just isn't quite there. Well white balance refers to the process by which the camera interprets pure white. Now once white is determined, these cameras are built to then represent all colors accurately. Chad Perkins: On most cameras you'll find presets for white balance, for a variety of common conditions. You'll have Tungsten for standard warm indoor lighting, or you might have daylight for a coolish outdoor lighting, but to really get the best white balance for your particular shot, you'll want to do a custom white balance.

Getting a custom white balance

Brian Liepe: Sometimes these cameras have a hard time figuring out what pure white is. Sometimes there is a green tint or a magenta tint, or sometimes it's too warm or too cool, and the white just isn't quite there. Well white balance refers to the process by which the camera interprets pure white. Now once white is determined, these cameras are built to then represent all colors accurately. Chad Perkins: On most cameras you'll find presets for white balance, for a variety of common conditions. You'll have Tungsten for standard warm indoor lighting, or you might have daylight for a coolish outdoor lighting, but to really get the best white balance for your particular shot, you'll want to do a custom white balance.

Brian Liepe: So here is how you're going to get a custom white balance in your camera. First determine which source of light is dominant, whether it's coming through a window, or it's incandescent lamps inside a room, and place your gray card underneath or in that light. Make sure it's in the center of the frame so the sensor can find it and snap a photo. Once you do that, navigate to the Custom White Balance option and choose the reference image you just took. Hit OK and your camera will calibrate itself. It's pretty cool.

Chad Perkins: My background is in post production, so I'm frequently guilty of saying that really annoying thing when we're on set, like "oh just fix it in post." But white balance is not one of those things that you should wait to fix in post, and that's because the compression on DSLR cameras is so bad that there really isn't much room to play with it much in post. You've got to do this on set. Brian Liepe: Throughout shoots, your lighting conditions are most likely going to change, whether you change the lighting conditions yourself for a different scene, or you move locations.

So go ahead and just get another custom white balance with your gray card. Now there is an auto white balance feature on these cameras and it actually interprets white as you're shooting, and you can actually see the color shift as different light sources become dominant in your shot. This is a terrible idea. I recommend always setting your custom white balance. So just to reiterate, for the best possible colors, grab one of these please and get custom white balance off of this gray card.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking
Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking

43 video lessons · 25181 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 2m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. About the camera used in this course
      45s
  2. 11m 35s
    1. Understanding photography
      44s
    2. Understanding aperture
      1m 51s
    3. Trade-offs with aperture adjustment
      2m 32s
    4. Understanding shutter speed
      1m 26s
    5. Trade-offs with shutter adjustment
      2m 41s
    6. Understanding ISO
      44s
    7. Trade-offs with ISO adjustment
      1m 37s
  3. 6m 37s
    1. Understanding sensor size
      1m 19s
    2. Protecting highlights and native ISO
      1m 24s
    3. Getting a custom white balance
      2m 27s
    4. Focusing for video
      1m 27s
  4. 9m 24s
    1. Using lenses
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding wide lenses
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding long lenses
      2m 32s
    4. Getting shallow depth of field
      2m 22s
  5. 12m 34s
    1. Using graphs to gauge exposure
      2m 1s
    2. Recording audio
      2m 42s
    3. Using a clapperboard
      1m 13s
    4. Shooting a "flat" image
      51s
    5. Using custom color profiles
      54s
    6. Shooting slow motion
      1m 19s
    7. Getting a beautiful shot
      3m 34s
  6. 13m 33s
    1. Why use Premiere Pro for editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Transcoding video
      2m 29s
    3. Combining video and audio streams
      2m 7s
    4. Cleaning up noise and adding grain
      3m 26s
    5. Color correcting footage
      4m 10s
  7. 6m 1s
    1. About DSLR pitfalls
      30s
    2. Avoiding rolling shutter
      51s
    3. Avoiding moiré
      1m 6s
    4. About limited latitude
      1m 56s
    5. About extreme compression
      1m 38s
  8. 7m 27s
    1. Why you need a monitor
      58s
    2. Using a viewfinder
      52s
    3. Stabilizing your camera
      1m 43s
    4. Moving your camera
      35s
    5. Using a follow focus
      37s
    6. Using a matte box
      1m 8s
    7. Using neutral density filters
      1m 34s
  9. 1m 17s
    1. The future of DSLR video
      54s
    2. Final thoughts
      23s

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