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Photography Question 
Clayton T. Williams
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/16/2006
 

Gray Cards


Quick question: Is there any reason to use an 18% Gray Card when shooting in Raw?
Travis


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1/13/2010 2:48:47 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  Hi Travis,
I only shoot Raw. I use a white balance card when shooting portraits, etc. It just lets me know that I am dialed in and allows better overall exposure, which cuts down on post-processing time. The center has an 18% gray section that can be used as a gray card but a pocket-sized gray card would be easier to use.
I bought a 14" White Balance card on Amazon that came with a DVD that explains the process better.
http://www.amazon.com/PhotoVision-One-Shot-Calibration-Collapsible-Exposure/dp/B000E44QNE/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1263383581&sr=8-18

Hope this helps.


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1/13/2010 3:57:32 AM

 
Clayton T. Williams
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/16/2006
  Thanks for the response Carlton. Do you also use a light meter while shooting portraits? I am really starting to move forward with portrait and getting all the tools of the trade.
Thanks,
Travis


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1/14/2010 1:48:18 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  Hi Clayton,
I have a Sekonic light meter that I rarely use anymore and what I found in shooting portraits is that the light meter would sometimes read the scene differently from the white balance card and I usually liked the results of the white balance card settings better, so thats what I usually go with now. I like that the white balance card shows the histogram for light, mids & darks so you know where your exposure is and then I set my camera to that image via custom white balance and my range & colors are more accurate using this technique.
The link I posted for the WB card w/DVD is a cheap and very useful investment.
Cheers.


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1/15/2010 3:16:24 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Clayton and Carlton,
I use a gray card when I want accurate color, and like Carlton, I always shoot in Raw. I use a balance pre-set for my lights, also. I use the preset when I want pleasing color rather than accurate color. When I use the card, I shoot it with the lights and then shoot the images. I use the shot with the card to do the balance after the shoot in the Raw conversion program. Then I apply that balance to the rest of the shots. This is easier than doing the work in camera. I use a light meter for technical work, like copy work. I would never use one for portraits with a digital camera.
Thanks,
John


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1/15/2010 11:31:21 AM

 
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