Video Tech Tips - White Balance

How to properly set the white balance when filming hunts
Jun 6, 2016

Hi, my name is Wade James, and thanks for checking out another Guidefitter Video Tech Tip. Today, we're talking about something that's usually overlooked - white balance. If you're watching this right now and you don't see something wrong, you should probably go see an optometrist. White balance is a key feature that will give you the look that you want, but also can destroy footage very, very quickly. So, right now I'm running with the white balance totally out of whack, and here is where my white balance should be for the look I'm going for.

White balance runs on a Kelvin scale, so the higher number that you go, up to 5,600 and 5,800, is the more yellow you add to it. The lower you go, in the 3,000 range, is the bluer or the cooler look that you're going for. But, what I like to do is, I like to run it and look past the camera at the object I'm trying to focus on and try to match the white balance on-camera to what I see with my own eye. This is just an easy way for me to judge the natural lighting that I have, and the color that it needs to be, with my eye and then through the camera. This makes it easier in post, then, to also manipulate to get the look you're going for. But having that set up in-camera initially will get you far ahead of the game when it comes to post-production.

Running on auto white balance isn't always the best option either. Every time that you move the camera or hit record, and start and stop, the camera resets itself. So, in this setting, if I'm setting up interviews and I have a constant light source, running in auto will change drastically take-by-take for any other additional daylight option that comes flooding in through windows. This is only noticeable when you're cutting different pieces out and you're butting the pieces up against each other. You'll notice that the one's a little blue and the one's a little yellow, and it will drive you nuts in post-production trying to get things right.

In a tree stand, it usually doesn't matter too much, but with auto, it will mess you up a good bit going from those dawn and dusk moments. When the light is changing constantly, your camera is usually looking for white balance to correct itself with, and your footage won't be congruent throughout.

Trying to fine tune your knowledge of in-camera settings as far as white balance, and aperture, and ISO, and shutter speed, these are all the things you can use in conjunction to basically make your footage look as good as possible and save yourself or your editor headaches in post.

These Guidefitter Video Tech Tips are just going to help you get your footage ahead of the game quickly and easily, so that way you can lay down some awesome footage that can be utilized for yourself, your friends, or in industry.

My name is Wade James, and thanks for watching Guidefitter Video Tech Tips.