Color your world
Professional cinematographers use a variety of colored filters to create tints in the picture – red filters produce more dramatic sunsets, while blue ones are a cheap way to turn noon into midnight. You can use filters too, of course, but if your camcorder has a manual white balance “lock” feature, there’s an even simpler way to add color tints to your video.
Most camcorders offer several fixed settings for white balance – for sunlight, incandescent light, and occasionally for fluorescent. These can provide some interesting tint effects too – by selecting the “sunlight” white balance preset when shooting under artificial indoor light, for example, you can make everything look orangish-red.
But the real fun is playing with the manual “lock” feature, found on most of the more advanced camcorder models. The way you’re supposed to use this feature is by zooming in on an all-white object like a white sheet of paper that an assistant holds up for you. Then you press the lock button until the on-screen indicator stops blinking – and voila, the camcorder automatically adjusts itself.
OK, that’s how you use it to get correct color rendition – but what if you’d rather go for a deliberately skewed color? Simply substitute a colored card for the white one – and note that a warm-colored card (like warm cards) will skew the video’s tint toward cool values, and vice versa. If you use a red card, for example, your footage will have a blue-green tint. Download a free warm card blue or a free warm card greenand see how your videos come out.