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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Hartselle, Alabama
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    6

    How to white balance with no white???

    Hello:
    This is my first post, so I hope I do it right.

    I just recorded my children's dance recital and several things went wrong. I'm hoping you folks can help me learn to do it right.

    First, I need to know how to get a good video picture when there is no (or very little) white to balance to.

    In the theater where I filmed, there was nothing white (except a couple of people that were wearing white clothes) to manually balance to, so the video came out off colour.

    How can you get a good white balance when you don't have any white to balance to? I was in the balcony (about 100' from stage) with my Sony PD-150 and too far away to zoom into anything that was white. I have some white cards, but they are too small to use at that distance.

    Thanks,
    William

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
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    Hi William, welcome to the forum.

    My first piece of advice was going to be to carry your own white balance card(s) but it sounds like you do that already. It's a little unusual that you wouldn't be able to use them - in most cases they will save the day. In the theatre it could still be worth a try white balancing on your cards close to you, but obviously there's a good chance the stage lighting will be too different.

    A good thing to bear in mind is that you can get a white balance off anything that is a neutral grey, i.e. it doesn't always need to be white. If there happened to be a part of the stage that was grey with not much colour, try that. The chances of pulling this off in a theatre aren't that flash but it can often work outside. Sometimes you can get a good white balance off clouds even if they are quite dark.

    When all else fails sometimes you can get a reasonable white balance by trying random subjects. Point at all sorts of different things around the room and try white balancing off them. Sooner or later you might get lucky and get a good result

    Personally I like to have the option of setting colour balance myself. My Sony HVR-Z1P lets you adjust the colour balance manually which is great for these situations.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3
    Welcome to the forum. I had the same predicament about 3 years ago. I was hired by the playhouse in Charlotte to film a series of plays that were coming into town. the first show or two i balanced off the white stage light. Just close the iris until it is not too bright and balance off that. It worked surprisingly well. then i realized that if i go there early and set the balance off my white card on the stage, the color and lighting held and was great. Either one of these will work fine. Dave is right, If you are going to do this often and you have the money, you may want to look into a camera that you can color balance with. It has made my life ALOT easier
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hartselle, Alabama
    Posts
    6

    Thanks!!!!!

    Thanks guys for the good info. Some great advise that I will try next time.

    Thanks again,
    William

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