Warm Color Balance

You have already shot some video and on playing it back the colors just don’t seem right, the sky is not the blue that it was when you shot the clip and your face appears ‘different’ than what you see looking in the mirror.

So what do you need to do to to capture the rich colors that you would expect to see in a Hollywood movie and that nicer on the eye for your viewers.

The answer is that you need to ‘[tag]warm balance[/tag]’ your camcorder before you shoot to obtain better results. Now this is new to me and it is important that you appreciate what warm balance is compared to white balance.

Instead of using pure white, you will often get far better colors in video by using a light color, but something other than white. If you use a very pale shade of blue when you white balance your camera, you will get much deeper colors from your camcorder. It will actually help give pale skin a healthy, natural glow.

If you use a ‘minus green’ to do a white balance, it will help eliminate the pale effects normally seen when shooting under fluorescent lighting.

The picture shows a comparison between shots taken with a white balanced camera, and one that was warm balanced.

Thousands of television cameraman, videographers, and digital photographers around the world use warm balance every day because it is an indispensable tool for high end video production and digital photography.

You can buy warm balance cards from WarmCards.com or make your own. Print out an A4 page on your ink jet printer colored warm blue (hex color code: #D1EEF2) and one colored minus green (#DDF4E2).

Normally you will want to use the warm blue but the minus green is used when shooting under harsh fluorescent lights.

To use your warm balance card and improve the color of your videos do the following.

  • Set up your video shoot as normal and turn on the lights if using them.
  • Set the camcorder to manual mood.
  • Place the card or have someone hold it at face level and zoom in so that the color card fills the viewable area of the screen.
  • Press the ‘white balance’ button on your camcorder.
  • Remove the card, keep in manual mode and shoot the video.