Can You Mix Lights with Different Color Temperatures?

A few weeks ago we reviewed the Aputure Light Storm COB120d, an incredibly versatile LED light for video and photography. One specification of the COB that is a little unique is that its color temperature is cooler than others at 6000K. Many people have asked whether it is possible to mix this light with other daylight balanced lights which are rated with a color temperature of 5500 or 5600K.

In this episode, we look at cases where it is probably ok to mix them and other cases where you may not want to mix them.

In short, if you use each light to illuminate a different thing or different sides of a thing, you're probably ok to mix them. If you use two lights with different temperatures to light the same thing (e.g., one as a key light, the other as a fill), things can start to look at little strange unless you use the cooler light as the fill.

Gear used or mentioned in this episode:


Aputure Light Storm COB120d LED Light (6000K color temp)

Aputure Light Storm LS1s LED Panel Light (5500K color temp)

Photo Basics Barn Doors confirmed to fit the Aputure COB Lights

Panasonic GH4 m4/3 Camera - Still my main video camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens

DaVinci Resolve Training from Alex Jordan: Special Pricing

Last year I had a talk with a colorist by the name of Alex Jordan. The way I found out about him was from a short YouTube piece he put together on color correction in Resolve. What amazed me by that video was that he was able to explain a rather complex topic in just a couple of minutes. He's a natural when it comes to teaching.

So I went to his website,, where he has a series of color grading and editing courses as well as several LUT packs. I took one of the free courses on getting started with DaVinci Resolve and was pleased to find that the entire course was very useful and very concise, just like the episode on YouTube.

So we had this discussion and I've looked to him as a friend and mentor in the world of color since then. His approach is very practical and the things he discusses always useful.

So if you'd like to learn more about color grading, I'd encourage you to have a look at Try one of his free courses and see if you learn something useful. He won't waste your time.

Also, if you're interested in buying any of his courses, he's having a black Friday special pricing event where he's offering his full DaVinci Resolve color grading course as well as courses on editing in Resolve, a "practice" course where he actually shows you how to correct and grade several clips, and a lighting course all for $99 USD. That's a good investment.

He also kindly offered to provide LearnLightAndSound a portion of the proceeds of that special pricing so that we can continue to post useful tutorials (full disclosure). You won't spend any more using these links than if you just went to his site on your own.

Even if you don't have the budget for the black Friday bundle, definitely check out his free introductory course on DaVinci Resolve 12.5.


Indie Cinema Academy has posted an interesting set of color quality measurements for a bunch of LED lights available on the market. Measurements of CRI, TLCI, and others were made with an Asensetek Lighting Passport Color Spectrometer. I was pleased to see that the Aputure Light Storms did well overall, particularly the new COB 120t.

If you're in the market for LED lighting, this list is worth a look because you'll get a good idea of how well each light renders the visible spectrum of color and how natural your talent and set will appear in video.

White Balancing Your Camera (or Gray Balancing?)

A few years ago I did a piece on custom white balancing your camera. It is important to learn this skill to get the best looking footage, especially if shooting with an 8-bit 4:2:0 camera (like many of us use).

Interestingly, as I was doing a little research to put this piece together, I noticed that using a gray card generally produced better results than using a white card. I've had a lot of questions on why and up to now, I just assumed that it had something to do with the fact that 18% gray is closer to the luminance level that we generally shoot for skin tones. Turns out that was a decent guess, but not the whole story.

Art Adams posted an interesting piece titled, "The Secret Art of White Balancing" that goes into way more detail, particularly in light of the fact that many cameras can now capture 12-14 stops of dynamic range. To do that, cameras have a tendency to compress the highlights and shadows (even aside from log profiles, it seems) so using a target closer to the less compressed mid-tones often results in better white balance.

Definitely worth the read, if you're nerdy like that (I am).

Deal: X-Rite i1Display Pro Colorimeter - Calibrate Your Computer Monitor

X-Rite i1Display Pro B&H has a special going on the X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter which is what I use to calibrate my computer monitor. Now this is not to be confused with a legitimate color managed workflow that colorists use (at many thousands of dollars), but for those of us that are enthusiasts or one-person crews, calibrating your computer monitor will at least get you into the ballpark and ensure you produce reasonably consistent color on your video and photo projects. And now, you can pick this up for less than $200 US. It comes with X-Rite's Profiler software and calibrates your monitor quickly and easily. Here's a recent episode where we showed the process on my Mac. (also works with Windows):



Color Grading with Alex Jordan: LUTs and Highlight Rolloff Another conversation with Alex Jordan on color grading, this time talking about LUTs (what they are, what they are useful for and what they are not useful for) as well as highlight rolloff. I like his practical approach where he clearly explains that you cannot just expect to drop a film emulation LUT on your clips and expect it to fix all the issues your clips may have in terms of exposure, white balance, or color shifts and this makes his "componentized" LUTs more flexible for getting the final look that you're after.

I've learned a lot from Alex's DaVinci Resolve 11 online training. I love that his courses are so succinct. You can get through a lot of material quickly and I think I actually retain the info better at this pace.

Also, in this episode he offers a 20% discount for the next five days on his LUT packs over at Also, if you buy the full pack in the next five days, you also get a lifetime membership to this DaVinci Resolve 11 training which will soon be updated to Resolve 12 training once the new version is released. That's a good value!

DaVinci Resolve: Quick White Balance Correction with RGB Curves

Have you ever forgotten to set your white balance when shooting video?  Or have you downloaded your footage and realized that the color was a little, or even a lot, off? You can fix it quickly and easily in DaVinci Resolve with the RGB curves. And the same idea applies to any color grading app with RGB curves.

Now don’t let that scare you off. I used to be scared of the RGB curves. They seemed so complex and mysterious. But using this simple method, you can white balance a clip in just a few seconds!

I learned how to do this from Alex over at the new YouTube channel “Learn Color Grading”. Lots of quality tutorials on color grading with DaVinci Resolve, definitely worth your time to have a look and subscribe:

Here are a couple of tools I use to ensure I can correct my white balance in post:

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport is a little pricey but is a professional tool with not only a white balance patch, but also standard color chips that allow you to put the ColorMatch feature in DaVinci Resolve to use - an automated way to color balance your footage.

Lastolite Ezy Balance Gray/White Card is a little less pricey and is a great, durable, foldable card you can use to white balance your footage in post, set a custom white balance in your camera, manually set your exposure, or manually focus. Great tool. I've had mine for probably 4 years now and I use it all the time.

iMac 5k Display Color Accuracy From the time that Apple announced the iMac with 5k Retina Display, I wondered how color accurate the display measured. As a photographer and videographer, I didn’t wan to put all my money into an all-in-one computer that had a beautiful, but color chaos screen. So here we use an XRITE i1Display Pro colorimeter to get a read on how well the color would work for basic photo retouching, video editing, color correction and grading for an enthusiast producing for the web. (This is obviously not a reference display for color critical work. Look to brands like Flanders Scientific and Sony for displays in that range).

DaVinci Resolve 11: Learning to Match Shots from Different Cameras

One of the issues that comes up in multi-cam shoots is that the color from different cameras can, and often does, look very different. I am not a colorist but this is a practical problem that I am learning to fix using DaVinci Resolve 11. In this example, I shot a scene with two cameras: A Nikon D750 and a Panasonic GH4, both using their Neutral Picture Styles and set to tungsten white balance. But as you can see, the two clips look startlingly different! Using techniques I learned from Patrick Inhofer, we use color match, then manually tweak the luma on the two clips, and finally massage the color just slightly to get two clips that can cut together without distracting the audience.

To learn more about color grading from Patrick, check out his new DaVinci Resolve course over at or see his website:

Basic Cross Process Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

In our continuing journey to learn color grading, let's take a look at a fairly simple cross process grading look in DaVinci Resolve Lite. Nothing too complicated but a look that I've found to be pretty useful in a fair number of cases.For those not familiar with DaVinci Resolve, it is one of the big color correction and grading tools used by professionals and indie film-makers alike. There are paid and free versions available at The main caveat with the free version from my perspective is that you need a computer with at least a dedicated video card and fairly well appointed specs in terms of RAM and CPU power. It will not run well (or even at all) on ultrabooks with fairly light specs.