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White Balance in Auditorium

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BradbroWhite Balance in Auditorium
by on Apr 30, 2006 at 4:29:04 am

Anyone have any good approaches for getting a good white balance in an auditorium? This is a for a dance/music show where lighting will mostly be colored lights with nothing white to zoom in on. The camera will be in the back of the auditorium.


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MatteRe: White Balance in Auditorium
by on Apr 30, 2006 at 1:11:36 pm

Been there.
MANY times.

If you can, make special arrangements with the show's crew to be there early for a pre-show white-balance :
They'd give you a "typical" lighting scene on the empty stage, you'd WB at that rime, then leave the camera that way for the rest of the show.

If this is not possible,
Set your camera's WB to "bulb" (Incandescent light).

Regardless, the colored lighting (and light DIMMING) will affect your image.
Nothing you can do about it. That's just how recording a stage-show (which you have no control over) works.

Actually, the "Incandescent" setting should be fine for the "average" lighting conditions of most stage shows.


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Jeff CarpenterRe: White Balance in Auditorium
by on Apr 30, 2006 at 9:46:17 pm

I always just go with the standard incandescent light settings (32k) built into the camera.

I mean, if they put up different colored lights later in the show then that's what they WANT it to look like! I shouldn't be fighting it since that's what they want the stage to look like.

There are TWO exceptions to this rule that you should ask about ahead of time and ask to see and test out on camera:

1) SPOTLIGHTS
Many spotlights are sunlight balanced and will look very blue to the camera. If you can, you should switch to the "sunlight" setting on your camera since the spotlights don'ta look blue to the human eye so you should correct for them.

2) LOW LIGHTING
They may have "normal" lighting that looks white but is low thus it appears red on camera. I try to get a custom white balance ahead of time for shows like these too since they don't look red to the audience.

But pretty much anything else is supposed to look colored so I just let it affect the video without worrying about it.


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Charlie KingRe: White Balance in Auditorium
by on May 1, 2006 at 4:21:57 pm

[Jeff Carpenter] "Many spotlights are sunlight balanced and will look very blue to the camera. If you can, you should switch to the "sunlight" setting on your camera since the spotlights don'ta look blue to the human eye so you should correct for them."

We usually have good response from spotlight operators and head electrics when we ask they use correction on spotlights. We actually carry gels with us most of the time in case they don't have any. Straw works very well.

If you correct for the spots then the other colors will suffer, whereas if they correct the spots themselves there is no noticable difference for the live audience and everyone should be happy.

Charlie



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BradbroRe: White Balance in Auditorium
by on May 1, 2006 at 4:33:14 am

Well I just got back from the show. I didn't get a chance to read your replies beforehand. I ended up just auto WB'ing when there weren't any colored lights on. It pulled a pretty good WB and I just kept that setting the whole show. Seemed to be okay. Thanks for the responses.


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