Jump to content

White balancing with video lights

Recommended Posts

I'm used to shooting raw images, so I've never really paid attention to underwater white balance, I just fixed in it post. Now that I'm shooting video with a camera that doesn't have a raw output (sony a7iv), I'm feeling behind the curve on white balance. I am shooting in s-log though.


Most of my video work will be deep (150'+), so my understanding is any sort of red filters would not be useful. I tried some white balancing at depth (used my white fin, lights on), but quick post processing with a rec 709 LUT lead to over saturation of the reds and oranges. Might have just been the LUT though. I'm planning on developing a mesophotic light LUT, but haven't had the time yet.


If I am going to always be using video lights, do I even need to WB at depth? Should I just set the WB to the color of the lights and be done with it? Unfortunately all the dives are during research missions, so a fun dive to futz with things isn't really an option.


Screen caps for reference below from a couple different lighting situations. No processing other than a LUT, I may have desaturated a bit... not sure, they were long days.


Screenshot 2024-05-21 at 8.45.16 AM.png

Screenshot 2024-05-21 at 8.46.27 AM.png

Screenshot 2024-05-21 at 8.44.16 AM.png

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm definitively 100% filming at mesophotic depths > 200' only with artificial light (Keldan Luna).


I've never MWB. My camera (GH5S GH5MKII) works perfectly with AWB. I prefer shooting in cine-d but sometimes i film in v-log because my buddy has a fixation for v-log so I'm forced to 🙂

I agree on filming v-log on land but underwater I don't see an edge for it and post CC is tricky. My cine-d is gorgeous.




  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve had mixed results manually white balancing with a card and video lights in wide-angle. Ive had nice color results at times, but I’ve found it can sometimes be difficult to conveniently get the card in the right position to accurately represent the subject distance and accommodate the angle of the light beams while holding the card. Especially if you’re angling to avoid backscatter.

In my experience, setting the WB to light temperature value doesn’t quite get the color I’m looking for if there’s any ambient light, even with higher power lights blasting. 


I’ve generally had nice results with Sony’s auto WB with video lights, making sure to lock it in so it doesn’t shift during recording. Perhaps some tweaking in post, but Slog is pretty malleable.



*I shoot with a Sony A7Siii, SLog3, 2x Kraken SFM 18000 without filters

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Thanks For Your Support




    RPV Banner.png







    XRAY Magazine
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.