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GETTING CREATIVE WITH WHITE BALANCE
This page shows how selecting different white balance settings change the look and feel of a picture. HOWEVER, the monitor, browser and operating system you use all affect the way an image looks. A great shade of blue on my system may not look the same on yours. The images are here to inspire you to try for yourself.
All the images were recorded onto tape using a PD150. They were then transferred on to a memory stick and opened in Photoshop V6. I have not manipulated the colour of the images in any way, but, obviously, I have reduced them in size for posting on the web.
The auto setting was left to look at the scene for 60 seconds before recording.
> Should a white card be pure white ? I scanned the card and it appears to have a slight blue tint to it.
It should be as white as possible. But, grey will do too - because grey is just "dark white".
For more in depth stuff on white balance I highly recommend the excellent piece by Ex BBC cameraman Tony Grant .
If you want to do some cheap effects you can white balance on almost any colour. Take a look at our examples. Just experiment and see what you get. I was taught not to white balance on clothing because washing powders have optical brightners that can skew your white balance. Remember "Daz gives you bluey whiteness".
>>>>WHEN do we need to white-balance anyway?<<<<<
a.. In mixed light (e.g. in a tungsten lit room with daylight coming
through a window).
Remember, continuity isn't just about the set and wardrobe - you need consistency in picture quality too.
>>>>>Should I white balance before every shot?<<<<<<
Not really. But, for example - If all your shots are outdoors then one white balance would probably do. But, if you shoot some stuff indoors then go outdoors - you'll need to do a WB for each location.
>>>>Only if its dark or bright?<<<<
If it is really dark then the only light around will be artificial light in this case the "lightbulb setting" (3200K) can work. Otherwise the auto WB will be ok. Most night time shots will look a bit orange due to sodium street lights. Sodiums are pretty much a big spike of orange light.
Brightness doesn't effect WB that much. Although shade and full sun do have different colour temperatures (shade is bluer). On bright days I WB in the shade and it helps to warm up the pictures in full sun.
Outside mainly? Funnily enough I think indoors is trickier. Fluorescents are a pain because they can come in all sorts of colours. Plus, there is almost always mixed light indoors. Which means the area of the room nearest the window will be a different colour temperature to the rest of the room. Nurse - the screens!