On this week's Reel Rebel video production tutorial, Stephen Schweickart provides an overview of color temperature.  Understanding how to adjust and balance color that is captured from different lighting sources can ensure that you get the appropriate look for your shot and help minimize the amount of time that you spend doing color correction in post-production.

Video cameras needs to know the color temperature of light you are using in order to obtain the most realistic and quality representation of your shot. While it may be tempting to utilize the auto setting on the camera, it is fairly simple and a much better idea to manage the color temperature yourself to ensure it is correct.

Most often, you will likely be using one of two different light sources - daylight when you are shooting outside and tungsten when you are shooting inside.

Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin Scale (K).  You have 5,500K for daylight and 3,200K for tungsten.  These numbers change based on the time of day or types of indoor lights you are using.  Once you know what type of light you are dealing with reference the instruction manual for your camera and set your camera so it knows what light you are currently shooting in.

In simple terms, daylight shines blue, according to what your camera sees, so shooting with the setting at 5,500 Kelvin lets your camera know to add orange to the scene instead of you having to add it later in editing.  At the opposite end, if you are shooting indoors, your camera needs to know to add blue to the scene to give your shots the actual look you are going for.

If you are shooting outside and only have tungsten lights you should consider using colored gels so as to balance the color temperature.  If you put a blue gel in front of your light, your orange tungsten light will read blue on the camera and the camera will be able to adjust accordingly.

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  • cris

    What do you do when you are shooting indoors and there is light coming in from the window and you don't have control over blocking it out, and maybe a little of it is splashing onto the subject. I guess the better question may be how do you handle this in post.