I have been shooting for close to 20 years and if I wanted to "cheat" the white balance I would use gel swatches. However I have recently started using the "Warm Cards" and I personally think they're great. So simple yet very effective.
The warm cards are very easy to use and consistent - which is very important.
Depending on the project I still add color to shots by gelling my lights - but for ENG/EFP purposes - there's no need for that when you use the warm cards.
Bottom line - I think they're great, Producers & Directors love the look. I would highly recomend.
Or, you could just white balance on a blue
piece of paper, or put blue gel in front
of the lens while you white balance off
white, or white balance in the shade when
you're shooting in the sun. All these will
work, it's just a matter of what you are
more comfortable with. Personally I carry a white balance with me, but I prefer to acquire my white balance on site.
I've just recieved a set, and I think they are going to be very usefull. I'm always boosting the chroma on the deck to add color and fleshtones...but it's not as axact as the Warm Cards.
The only downside; don't white balance on one in the shade and have any sun in the background or it will GLOW. Also if you are in a lit area that is higher than 4000 and there are also 3200 lights around, the 3200 will GLOW and looks bad.
One thing I have noticed if you are forced to shoot an outside shot in the shade, with direct sunlight in the background, white balance on the warm cards in the direct light and the shaded light won't have that blue tint. Plus the background will macth the foreground more naturally.
I just had a chance to work with them and I feel the #2 card is the best. It has a good warm "film likeness" look. under lights or sun, but there is one problem I feel it has and it is that they are laminated. So they are glossy and reflective at some angles. other wise they work well!
Has anyone used them in their day to day shooting for tv news.... interviews, b-roll etc. I would like to try them, but I don't know if I can get the chief to cough up the 65 bucks. I don't make a lot so I might have to think about it.
The WarmCards do a great job of removing blue/green colors, while AT THE SAME TIME warming the overall color balance.
A minus-green card is being considered for those times when you want to get a nicer white balance under fluorescents WITHOUT noticeably warming the video. But really, it really isn't needed at all. The regular WarmCards make florescent lighting look good! WarmCardsAT THE SAME TIME
Have had mine for three weeks and used #1 about 50% on most of my shoots. So far no regrets buying them. Remain cautious on using #2 and #3. Would also be interested in hearing from stations chiefs. Are they using them? What are their thoughts on the look overall?
[ December 03, 2001: Message edited by: Dalewilson ]</p>
I purchased a set of Warmcards before a big overseas shoot last month. I did this because an editor complained of my D-30's propensity to shoot "on the green side" while shooting in low contrast situations. He had to adjust about 13% while color correcting in the mid tones or gammas. (He uses Combustion) I spent a couple hundred bucks to have an engineer go through the cam only to tell me the colorimetry wasn't that bad. She did some minor tweeking.
So I spent the $70 and shot an extensive test reel and sent the editor the tape. His final comment was "don't shoot with the Warmcards - it looks TOO GOOD." He was afraid the new look wouldn't match previous footage shot with the D-30 and wouldn't lend itself to the subject matter.
Bottom line - I will always use the Warmcards when not shooting for this client. They are very handy and the look is superb!
Just to update since my Nov. 01' post about Warm Cards; I now use them 100% on every shoot. So does any other photog working with me as a second
camera. I have to order a non-glossy set today. Tired of having to turn them in the sun to get the reflect out each time.
Received the matte version of Warm Cards on Friday. Used them in morning weather shots today. A major improvement! No glare, much easier to quickly balance as opposed to the original " Glossy " Warm Cards. I now understand the cards are only sold in the Non Glossy variety.
I love my Warmcards...I used to use them all the time at my old station shooting DVC pro and never had problem!!! Since I switched stations and now shooting SX I have been a bit reluctant to use them since my camera White balances a bit warm on its own. but I do use them in low light situations. I always use either a 1 or a 2 but havent come into a situation too use the 3... can someone who uses it give me a situation where the three wont "over warm"?