This video glossary covers the terminology and defines the meaning of common video terms related to cameras, codecs, lighting, film set lingo, post-production workflows, and everything else you ever wanted to know about film and video production.
White balancing is the process of correcting the colors that your camera picks up prior to shooting to an objective standard, in this case matching the color of white on your camera screen to an objective “true white.” This is necessary so the color of your image is as true to reality as possible, as many digital cameras might pick up hints of other colors, such as red, blue, or even yellow and green, if not white balanced prior to shooting. Most digital cameras come with an automatic white balance built into them, but you’ll still need to point your lens at a white object of some kind to match to.
If you want to get creative, you can manipulate the white balance on purpose in order to get different colors in the shot. Here's a series of shots taken a few seconds apart with different white balance settings along with a neutral shot and an HDR shot with different exposures (the two last shots):
Grant Harvey is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. When he’s not working on his own feature-length screenplays and television pilots, Grant uses his passion and experience in film and videography to help others learn the tools, strategies, and equipment needed to create high-quality videos as a filmmaker of any skill level.
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.