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What is color balance all about?

By Jakob Jelling
Snapjunky.com

The colors we see depend on the environmental light that surrounds us at every given moment. This way, camcorders need to adapt the way it reads colors to every different environment or situation, and this is what is known as color balance. Color balance is a procedure which every video creator should follow before shooting a scene.

Every object we see would vary in color depending on the light it receives. This way, if a camcorder was ready to view colors based on certain light and then we record a video in an environment with a higher amount of light, an object which was supposed to look white could look blue. Camcorders reads colors depending on light temperature, and therefore, the more light there is in an environment, the more light temperature the camcorder will read, recording colors based on this temperature variations and not the way they really looked for us.

In order to make sure that a camcorder will receive the right color information, we must adjust its color balance before using it. Color balance, also known as white balance should be always settled each time the light of the environment in which we are changes. In order to be sure your camcorder is always reading colors properly, you should try to reset its color balance as often as possible.

Most camcorders would allow you to shoot a video by using an automatic white balance. Unless you are in a hurry you should avoid using this feature since, although it usually works efficiently, it might not recognize colors properly sometimes. This way, it is very recommendable that you manually set the white balance yourself and try not to use this automatic feature.

White balance can be easily done by placing a white piece of paper or any other object which has a flat surface in the same area in which you will be shooting your video and then choosing the camcorder's white balance option. This way, your camcorder will recognize the light of the environment based on this white object and read other colors based on this information.

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