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White Balance

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David SikesWhite Balance
by on Aug 4, 2011 at 1:47:08 pm

Hello! I'm in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and we have a new amphitheater. Our film department at the University of Alabama is the videography crew for most events - students shoot, produce, direct and td nearly every show. So far, we've shot concerts, special events and boxing matches.

One thing we've run into that I wanted to ask the Cow about is white balance - we usually start while the sun is setting and shoot late into the night. During the shows, there is typically a mix of colored lights, smoke machines, etc.

As we project images live, and with 4-5 cameras running simultaneously, how should we handle color temperature changes while the sun sets? The lighting crew arrives the day of the event, so there's no room for rehearsal the day before.

Thanks for any help y'all can give!

- David

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Chip ThomeRe: White Balance
by on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:08:21 am

After dark is the easy part, you mix to the color temp of the bulbs (tungsten, LED etc), not the color of their tint or gels. 3200K is 3200K whether it's a blue bulb, or red or or whatever color.

The setting sun, that's in constant temp change until dark. What you don't mention is how much natural light is shining on the stage and utilized by the lighting crew compared to the stage lighting. If a setting sun is shining directly past you toward the stage and it's being utilized as the light source, you have to balance for that. If it is shining on the backside of the amphitheater and coming around toward the audience, but the stage is primarily utilizing stage lighting to illuminate it, I would balance for the bulbs.

Care to fill us in more on where the sun is in relationship to the stage?

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