Using a Grey Card


TPF Noob!
Feb 9, 2016
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Ok so I understand that using a grey card helps with white balance in post-processing, but what I don't understand is how to get the right exposure for the grey card (if that makes any sense).

For example, if I'm outside taking photos of my kids and I use a grey card for post-processing later in Light Room, how do I figure out what f-stop, shutter speed, ISO to manually set it at to achieve the right exposure?

Do I NEED a light meter? I've read so many articles and what not on exposure and it's giving me a headache.
Last edited:
You have a light meter in your camera. And yes you need it. I just got a grey card as well so I'll follow this thread and bopefully the pros will chime.

To use an off camera light meter I think that would trump the grey card.
PS, you take a picture of the grey card, and use the settings from tht to find your exposure.
The grey card is used to determine proper white balance which may be an issue in relation to the color of lights, or mixed color of lights.

Just take a photo of the grey card using your exposure meter in your camera. Put the grey card in the scene. ie, if you are taking someone portrait have they hold the grey card for a shot and set it aside.

If you use an AUTO setting on the camera the camera will set the exposure and you won't have the exposure meter showing (I think, I never use AUTO anymore as I'm always in Manual exposure).

fyi, I'm not a pro but that's how I use it.
Been thinking of getting one of these. Does a 'white card' do the same thing- or different purpose?
A white, grey or black card can be used for determining white balance. Take a photo of the card, and use the white balance tool in your software to sample the grey; this will ensure a correct white balance, but you must have the exposure on the card the same as that for the subject. For determining exposure, place the card in the scene so that it is illuminated in the same manner as the subject/portion of the subject you're concerned with, and with your camera set to manual adjust ISO, aperture, and SS to a '0' exposure on the grey card (nb. you cannot use black or white cards for exposure; well.. you can, but...).

Most reactions

New Topics