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Recently by Bob Hunt


Do you white-balance your video camera? Do you use automatic or Manual? Either way it should be the first thing you do when getting ready for your video production project. Most consumer video cameras have an auto-white balance feature which will automatically set up the video camera to the lighting where you are performing the video production.

Sony Camera.jpg
You should also have either outdoor, indoor and night settings or manual while balance on your video camera as well. I strongly suggest using manual and setting the white balance to the area on which you are shooting. For most, something white in 50% of the camera will suffice, some say 80%, many zoom in and focus on the white and then perform the white balance. White balancing your video camera will give you true color, but depending on your shoot, you may want to consider tricking the camera with a white balance for some very cool effects. Make sure you try these tips before using them on a paid-shoot. You can get some crazy stuff going on and if your video camera is not set up properly, like the viewfinder color, you could spend hours in post trying to fix it, or re-shooting.

When setting up an indoor shoot with lighting, try turning off the set up lights and turning on the fluorescent lights and white balancing on white, then turn off the fluorescent lights, turn your set up lights on and see what kind of picture you get in your video camera. Now try it again, but white balance on other things besides white, like orange, or blue, or red, or anything else, you should see a dramatic effect in the camera, helping you create a different mood for the video production. Once you get some nice colors, consider turning off some of your set up lights, for instance, a somber mood with low lighting and a bit of orange creates cool video, all lights on and true white balance gives you the hard edge look.

Don't think you have to white balance on white, try using a lot of different colors and angles with lighting to create video you can wow your clients with.

For more tips and tricks regarding video production techniques like these, take a look at GeniusDV's two day video production course.  Coming soon, white balance for a black and white video production.

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