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Color Balance: Understanding It, Achieving It, and Using It Creatively

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YouTube channel KINETEK has released an extremely informative video by Director and Cinematographer Matthew Rosen, in which Rosen explains how to achieve and utilize color balance, and why it’s important to avoid balancing everything.

The video above is mostly targeted at cinematographers, but photographers can benefit immensely from Rosen’s education and advice.

Rosen begins by giving a brief explanation of color wavelengths, color temperature, Color Rendering Index (CRI), and how one might go about balancing various light sources to the same temperature when shooting with both artificial and ambient light, or in complex lighting situations. This helps to explain why the latest LED lights from companies like Aputure are such incredible video tools, allowing users to dial in and balance their lights to an extreme degree of accuracy.

However, Rosen isn’t just teaching you how to perfectly balance your lights ever time. In fact, he suggests you do quite the opposite.

“Now that I have shown you how to match and balance your color temperature, I’m going to tell you not to do it too often, and this is what this tutorial is really all about,” explains Rosen. “I often play with mixed temperatures and hues to add life and individuality to the images […] the real advantage of a 95% CRI gives you is the ability and control to be creative knowing exactly what your light temperature and hue is, not just the ability to balance it.”

Given the extreme level of control that 14-bit RAW stills give us, it’s easy to “properly” balance every shot. But as Rosen explains, this is a common beginner mistake that can rob your images of their individuality and character. The goal should be to choose the right color balance for the effect or mood you’re attempting to capture, not the “correct” color balance based on an accurate gray card reading.

Check out the full video above to learn more and really dive into this subject. Rosen does a phenomenal job explaining every aspect of color balance, how it works, and how to use it to bring your creative vision to life.

(via Reddit)

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