The art of White Balance may be new to first-time filmmakers, but it could really benefit your video production. So what is White Balance and how do you do use it for your project? The following guide explores exactly what White Balance is and how you can use it in your next production:
What Is White Balance?
White Balance is the effect used by cameras to turn dominant lighting colours to white. This may sound a bit strange to new filmmakers, but even natural and standard lights can give locations an undesirable coloured hue. To make these shots appear to be filmed in continuous standard daylight you can make use of the White Balance camera function. This helps to give your scenes a fluid consistency throughout your shoot.
How Do I White Balance?
The best practice to follow when White Balancing is to hold a sheet of bright white card/paper up near your lens (remembering to get the light reflecting onto it) and see what colour it glows. Once you’re piece of card/paper has reflected the true colour of the scene you can use your White Balance (while keeping the card/paper held up) to create a natural white light. Some cameras will have a built-in function to auto-white balance, but if you want to be a pro filmmaker then using White Balance manually is the best way to do it.
When Should I Use White Balance?
You should always use White Balance anytime the lighting in your scene changes. Whether the sunlight changes or an energy saving bulb gets brighter or even a fire light starts to go out, you will need to change your White Balance. You could be changing your White Balance a number of times a day, but it is necessary to maintain good quality footage throughout your shoot.
When Can I Use Lighting Effects & Gels?
If you want to use any lighting effects or gels in your video production only do so once you have got your White Balance corrected. Using a gel without correcting your White Balance could cause footage to look far too dominated by the coloured gel creating a very unrealistic feel to your shots. If you are not confident with White Balancing or using gels it is best practice to create any desired lighting effects in post-production.
By following this guide to White Balancing you can help to ensure your footage is as good as possible no matter what the lighting conditions are.