Camera White Balance
and Admissibility

Imagine the judge's reaction when the
defense attorney objects to the use of
your video because it unnaturally tints
your client's skin color a sickly green!

Green skin color? How could such a thing
happen? Without camera white balancing,
fluorescent lights have a slightly greenish
coloring. Video cameras are not normally
set to automatically process scenes which
are lit with fluorescent lights.

Why do we not see any greenish tint to things
when we are in a room with fluorescent lights?
Why would a video camera pick up a greenish
tint when there is no such tint noticeable to the
people in the room? The answer is in the human
visual-processing system. The brain has a color
processing refinement that most people don't
know about. Without our conscious awareness,
we constantly compensate for slightly different
colorings in light sources. Different sources of
light have different impurities of coloring. The
clear noon-day sunshine, which we perceive
as white, is actually slightly bluish in coloring.
Standard light bulbs have a slightly reddish tint.
Fluorescent lights are slightly greenish. We see
them all as white because the brain compensates
and processes the images before they reach the
higher levels of human consciousness. Video
cameras have no brains. Most of them do have
processing systems which provide a similar
function. ("
white balance") Although not as
good as the human brain, when used properly,
a good video camera white balance adequately
processes almost all lighting situations.

Without white balancing, there's a chance your
video could be successfully challenged when the
resulting image creates bias. Your videographer
needs to be professional enough to know this.

Acceptable Color

Unnatural Color
(could be thrown out)

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Whitcomb Legal Video
Jonathan Whitcomb, C.C.V.
Long Beach, California
562  989-1334