Gray cards

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GFruge, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    Any of you guys using gray cards? Like for example, if doing an onsite shoot, are you guys shooting 1 frame with the gray card before starting a photo shoot of whatever it may be?

    I'm just wondering if it's worth the extra frame and few seconds that it takes to pull the card out, shoot the frame, then save the card.

    Or do most of you guys just shoot and worry about white balance later when developing? Or do you guys just rely on the camera's sensor and adjust accordingly in RAW?


    Regards,
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I usually just use AWB and adjust everything afterward. I use Lightroom, so once I find a WB setting that I like, I just just apply (sync) that to all the similar shots.

    (some people even use a grey card for exposure ;))
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do both, all depending if I'm getting payed for it or not:
    When shooting at home, I preset WB in Kelvin to my flash and have a blast (regardless of RAWs or JPGs). When at work, if indoor lighting really changed, then I preset it, otherwise, it is on SUNNY/Daylight.

    Also most of the gigs I shoot, LAB does color correction so even if WB is off, it'll get corrected for the print.
     
  4. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I use them on big shoots most of the time. I have one that "folds" into a carrying bag.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I have a kit of Whibal cards from www.rawworkflow.com

    I even have a little one on my key chain.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    That's typically how a gray card is used I thought. I don't use it to adjust WB on site, I shoot one image from a set with the gray card, then I finish the set. Once I get home, I use the eye-dropper tool in Lightroom to select the gray card. Poof, perfect white balance that I can then apply to all the other images from the set.
     
  7. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    InTempus,

    I've never used a gray card before, but now that I have one, this is the exact logic that I was thinking. Use the gray card before shooting a set of photos to get that perfect WB.

    I recently purchased Scott Kelby's CS4 book and it came with a gray card. I think I'm going to use it. The process was explained just as you said, use the eyedropper tool and *Bam*, all photos that were selected will be corrected immediately!!!
     
  8. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    This is how I use mine. Have the subject hold the grey card in the first shot and then shoot the series. Use the eyedropper tool and done with every image. Only difference is I don't use lightroom.
     
  9. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I use the Whibal grey card to set a custom wb in the camera. Don't have to do it later, but it's nice to have to confirm if you need it in the computer.
     
  10. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    This card that I have, incase no-one has seen it is quite neat. Obviously can't be that neat, since it's only a card with different grayscale colors.

    Anyways, there's 4 blocks on it. (1) highlight / white, (1) shadow / black, (1) midtone / mid-gray, and (1) Camera Raw White Balance / much lighter gray.

    Looks like it should take care of all my problems when it comes to WB.

    I've also heard about this "Exprodisc". Has any tried it or have any feedback?
     
  11. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    I played with this gray card thing today and not really sure if I like it. Almost like I don't need it. As mentioned before, I've never used one.

    Anyways, I shot a few photos today with the gray card in the photo. I shot a different WB settings, like Fluorescent, Shady, Flash, etc. Obviously there were different effects in a photos since I was shooting in Flourescent lighting.

    Afterwards, I opened the photos in Lightroom 2 and went to adjusting the photos with the eyedropper tool selecting the gray square on the gray card. I changed each of the photos individually to see if they would correct themselves accordingly. I got all kinds of results and nothing appeared to be dead-on.

    Seems to me that if the WB is off, nothing is right. You'd have to go in and manually change everything anyways.

    How about this exprodisc thing?
     
  12. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use a grey card in a traditional manner.
     

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