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White balance, the video cameraman's way

Clouds.

In case anyone missed it, the standard practice in outdoor video shoots (typically current affairs, rather than more organised filming) is to try to white balance off any reasonable clouds in the the sky.

While I try to use a handy Kodak grey card myself, I do find that zooming into a cloud mass and using that as a basic balancing tool works 95% of the time. There are of course blue skies (only 3 days a year in the UK!) and also strange weather patterns that result in yellow, purple or pink clouds amongst others.

Oh, and of course this only works outdoors in daylight without other light sources :)
 
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Doug Kerr

Guest
Hi, Peter,

I will never be able to watch ENG material confortably again knowing that the WB calibration was done from a target whose manufacturer did not publish certified L*a*b* values for it!

I knew that all hope for television as photojournalism was dashed when Connie Chung married Maury Povich.
 
Michael Tapes said:
And very few calibrated TV displays in peoples homes :>)
One of the reasons I am not moving away from my wonderful and well adjusted Sony Wega CRT - even as a "gadget boy". That CRT puts every LCD / Plasma to shame.
 

Michael Tapes

OPF Administrator/Moderator
I knew that all hope for television as photojournalism was dashed when Connie Chung married Maury Povich.
The prediction of news becoming entertainment was first introduced to many of us 30 years ago in the movie, "Network". A brilliant piece that was frowned upon because it was so ridiculous a premise.

And it also predicted (or reported) that it is the economic giants of "industry" that run the political world, not governments (check out the scene were Ned Beatty (Mr. Jensen) addresses Peter Finch (Howard Beale) in that wonderful darkened board room. One of the greatest monologues in modern movies IMHO).

Network 1976 Directed by Sidney Lumet
 

Dennis Lathem

New member
I left that business 21 years ago. As the consultants were being hired to re-educate the news department so that they would produce video mush that would get higher ratings and therefore a better advertisement rate.

I believe, for the most part, that TV journalist are stupid and lazy. And after the past few elections horribly biased in favor of the left.

PS: I always wore a Kodak approved white dress shirt so that my video photographer would have a "proper" source for his/her white balance calibration. Of course, with good old ASA 125 Tungsten balanced 16mm motion picture film you only had to remember to put the daylight filter in the slot when shooting outside. If you forgot, you had to stand by the film chain during the newscast and hold a correction filter between the projector lens and the video sensor. don't get me started about hot glue film splicers and mashed fingers. ;-)
 
My prime business next to photography is calibrating displays and to be honest this gives me goosebumps....

There is one good way for colorbalancing that's quick and thats with a whitebalance card (neutral gray).

If you use clouds you can get a colortemp that's way off from where you are filming, and coulds are never a true neutral source.

A whitebalancing card is dead cheap, why safe there ?
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
Frank Doorhof said:
My prime business next to photography is calibrating displays and to be honest this gives me goosebumps....

There is one good way for colorbalancing that's quick and thats with a whitebalance card (neutral gray).

If you use clouds you can get a colortemp that's way off from where you are filming, and coulds are never a true neutral source.

A whitebalancing card is dead cheap, why safe there ?

I have a couple images where my subject is holding a WhiBal(whitebalancing card) and there are clouds in the sky, I can click on the WhiBal and the Clouds and get two very different White Balances! I would also recommend avoiding clouds for White Balancing, most of the time it makes everything too blue.

Kyle
 

Chuck Fry

New member
I seem to recall hearing that at least one well-known video news camera guy would use long white cotton socks for WB targets. ;)
 
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Doug Kerr

Guest
Seems to me that what Peter (as OP) was describing is what, in his experience, many video guys do in the field. I may have missed where he said it was a good idea.

That may horrify some people here. I am horrified by what some tire repair shops do.

I found that insight interesting.

Best regards,

Doug
 
Doug Kerr said:
I may have missed where he said it was a good idea.
Thanks for being the one person who read between the lines ;-)

I have tried using clouds myself for both stills and DV video, and I find that if there is enough light to get a good cloud shot, then generally even the "Daylight" WB setting on my cameras gives a more consistent image.
 
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Doug Kerr

Guest
Hi, Kyle,

Kyle Nagel said:
OK, I'll bite, what do they do?

Kyle
Well, most notably, run the wheel nuts on by extended application of an impact wrench, resulting in, at the minimum, nuts that are so tight they can't be loosened at the roadside if tire change is neded, and at worst, overstressing the studs (quite possibly leading to their subsequent fracture).

Recommended practice is to tighten the nuts (often, but inaccurately, called "lug nuts"*) with a torque wrench to a torque prescibed by the automobile manufacturer.

* The term "lug nut" was apt when the nuts held not the wheel itself but rather a set of cast or forged lugs that clamped the tire rim to the spokes of the (rimless) wheel. That was of course before my time.

It was of course just a metaphor!

Best regards,

Doug
 
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