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manual white balance?

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Pat Kingmanual white balance?
by on Aug 6, 2005 at 3:28:20 pm

I almost always use the WB presets. How do you do a manual WB when you are in a location lit by different types of light and you are panning/moving the camera around the room?

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velmaRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 6, 2005 at 5:45:59 pm

That's tough. If I'm continually going back and forth between different lightings, I just white balance for the lighting where I'll be most of the time...where most of the important people are. And then I leave it and correct it in editing. To me, that's a whole lot easier than stopping to white balance every few minutes.


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Andrei F.Re: manual white balance?
by on Aug 27, 2005 at 2:38:56 pm

I agree with Velma. While shooting in big house I may use 3 or 4 different settings (I have 8 manual ones and 4 presets, but this is too much to keep in memory). You can evaluate approximately, what kind of lighting is prevaling in each room or in each spot, then use approproiate filter and the setting to that filter. Another trick: if I use 2 different settings for the same filter, my setting #1 is always warmer than the setting #2.
It really depends on camera you are using, but you can build a pattern you keep working with and stick to 3 settings at each place.


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Mark SuszkoRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 6, 2005 at 7:39:21 pm

This is a situation made for Auto-trace white. Some cameras implement it better than others, being more "shockless" about the changes.

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David RennieRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 7, 2005 at 3:38:16 pm

I white balance each time the color temp changes providing the situation allows for it. Let me also state though that my camera holds 3 settings. Two manual setting and a preset at 3.2k. So if I know in advnce the various conditions I will be in I can set these in advance. Otherwise I will stop when appropriate and WB. I purchased the Warm Cards from vortex media (BH carries them too) and keep one of the small cards in my shirt pocket at all times. This makes WB a snap taking only seconds and will save me a ton of time in post.

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peter ralphRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 9, 2005 at 3:02:21 pm

add me to the presets only camp, I never use auto white balance, and manual very rarely.

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David RennieRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 9, 2005 at 3:39:14 pm

I am curious, why wouldn't you manually WB? Do adjust in post? if so why not cpature it that way to begin with?

I tend to push my whites to make things look a little warmer. I simply prefer the look.

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peter ralphRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 10, 2005 at 2:21:56 pm

yes I color grade everything in post, if you don't I can see that warm cards might be useful, but except in cases like that where you want to change the image, match cameras, or compensate for a discontinuous light spectrum, my recommendation is stick with the presets.

This matter has been discussed extensively over the years on the cinematography and lighting forums, here is a link to a post from Leo Tichelli:

Posts from Leo, John Sharaf (DP for 60 minutes) and many others put a strong case case for sticking with the presets.

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Doug GrahamRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 9, 2005 at 5:39:37 pm

I'm t'other way 'round. I use either manual or auto, but not the presets.

Doug Graham

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Colvin EcclestonRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 12, 2005 at 3:46:19 pm

I manual balance for each room or setting if I get the chance. In mixed light, I try to get a good compromise. I do still post the colour but I am trying to get it all done in the shoot so I can cut down editing time and get it into the customer's hands quicker. By avoiding filters I can get my weddings posted out in a week.

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Pat KingRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 13, 2005 at 2:16:04 am

What do you think of the Peter's argument that manual white balancing blands everything to high noon in Kansas?

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Peter RalphRe: manual white balance?
by on Aug 14, 2005 at 2:03:16 pm

That is Leo Tichelli's view not mine. For wedding work I think presets are often a good choice, but I know a lot of shooters who get great results using manual and auto WB.

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