Color Temperature: What it is and How to Manage it
Light sources, from the sun to lamps, release a color temperature in Kelvin. While our eyes can adjust to the light, our cameras remain sensitive to it. Ever notice a video or photograph of something indoors with an unusual blue hue? Or something outdoors that looked oddly orange? This usually means the camera was not set to the appropriate color temperature for the environment. Understanding these subtle technical details will set the groundwork for a successful video. And knowing how to adjust these color temperature levels in post-production (and during production with the right camera settings).
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, its a much better idea to manage the color temperature yourself.
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. It should tell you how to 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. Shooting at 5,500 Kelvin lets your camera know to add orange instead of having to add it in editing. At the opposite end, if you are shooting indoors, your camera needs to know to add blue to the scene.
If you are shooting outside and only have tungsten lights you should consider using colored gels. These will help 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.To read the full video transcript or read the full article, visit: How to Manage Color Temperature & Color Balance for Video Lighting [Reel Rebel #17] If you need help editing your video, click here to learn more about our video editing services.