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Golden hour, variable ND and white balance
  • I'm going tomorrow to shoot video at golden hour by the sea with my GH4, voigtlander 17,5mm and Singh-Ray 77mm Vari-N-Duo Polarizing Variable Neutral Density Filter.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to use the ND filter. But if I do, how do I set the white balance?

    Variable ND filter tends to change the colors and I've read that automatic WB is not recommended as it loses that golden glow from golden hour.

    This filter has also polarizer. Any sense to use that feature?

  • 6 Replies sorted by
  • Why not do a white balance from a white/grey card?

  • White balance on grey card exposed to the orange-red-yellow light of the setting sun in magic hour will compensate for the shift towards the characteristic and desired orange part of the spectrum, it is how the WB thing works, it will render orange as 18% grey, and teal everything else, so it is not a best way to go. It is a bit more complicated but not impossible, only, you have that short window of time to get everything done, no retakes, no readjustments. I'd set WB one hour before to get pleasant colors and skintones (depending on the particular circumstances, sunny, overcast, winter, summer, latitude etc.), then wait for the moment, check on the monitor to be in the ballpark, and roll.

    Different thing is the ND and CPL usage. Balance with filters on, of course, if you will be using them.

  • @inqb8tr Thanks for the tip, seems I have to be early at the set!

  • I'm going tomorrow to shoot video

    Too late to suggest now, but there's this little thing we call a reccy...

  • Well I was on the site too late, seems I should have been there like 2 hours before sunset because there was already golden light.

    But I just set the WB to cloudy and I got some awesome footage. Didn't get that bad color tints from ND.

  • I've always had a relatively easy time removing color cast in post. Then again, I've not done much with variable NDs during golden hour.

    I recently invested in the "new" Rapid Variable ND from LightCraft Workshop. I had a chance to use it while I was shooting in Jamaica last week and the color cast is actually quite minimal compared to some of the footage I've seen in previous versions of their filters. I'll be putting it through the ringer soon enough as I shot a few long time lapses with my GH3 and GH4 using the filter.

    Glad your footage turned out.