White balancing color gels


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    • #72059444
      Jon Richardson

      As a beginner filmmaker I’ve got a white balance question in regards to a specific lighting situation I’ll describe:

      Imagine a lighting situation in a short film where a character is sitting on her bed… there is a tungsten practical light, a lamp, sitting next to our character. In order to match this practical I’ve attached CTO color gel to my LED light and I’ve got it shining on my subject. Shining through the window behind our subject’s bed we have another LED with a blue color gel over it…

      My question is concerning white balance… What would be the best way to set it in this situation? Should I use a grey card? If I adjust it so that my key light (the LED with CTO over it) is white balanced I know in post I’ll end up wanting to warm it back up to look like a natural halogen lamp. So is it better to capture it white balanced and adjust after or should I try and get what I want in camera?

      Thanks I’m advance!

    • #72059530

      After talking this over with a couple of our shooters I’ll suggest this: trust your monitor. White balance first without using a card; see what this looks like. Do this on a wide shot that encompasses the entire set and actor.

      Then try white-balancing with a white card held near the face of the actor.

      I would also experiment with the color of light coming through the window.

      Good luck.

    • #72059602
      Jon Richardson


      Awesome. I understand what you are saying but I’m still not completely clear… should I be trying to get the yellow light to look white or should I be adjusting it closest to what I want the final outcome to be (a halogen looking lamp and moonlight through the window)?


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