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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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