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Just had to relay this story from yesterday. Many of you know that I work at a junior college. Recently I moved into the Fine and Applied Arts department (where photography and other arts disciplines are taught). Yesterday, some beginning photography students were out shooting all manually (shutter/aperture/ISO/focus) and were tasked with determining proper exposure using a grey card. They were told to take a shot of a grey card (shooting only JPEG) to figure out what the settings should be for the subsequent shot of their subject. The girls were using a used D60 that didn't come with the...Show more →
I don't understand gray card to much, so I end up skipping them! I dont get how to take the gray cards picture, does it have to cover the entire photo? would light not reach it then? is it ok to tilt the gray card so that the light source hits it directly? i have used it, and it seems right at times, but i am unsure if it is correctly used? do i use auto, or m mode, does it need to be in focus? thanks for hearing me rant!
Most people say that it is used to get exposure "right"... I say it is used to get exposure close. When I have used it, I have it within the same light as whatever I am shooting, having the card essentially reflecting the light into the lens. I set aperture, shutter, and ISO to get the little light meter centered. If I shoot with these settings, it usually comes out properly exposed, but a little flat. That is why I say its used to get it close.
I made the mistake of going on a shoot as a helper and...Show more →
leighton w wrote:
This is one reason I shoot RAW. So easy to change white balance in post if need be.
Leighton, the gray card is useful for two distinct situations: (1) to pick the right exposure and (2) to pick the right WB. I believe Kevin is addressing the exposure part.
While shooting RAW can give you flexibility to correct the exposure and WB during PP I still find the gray card very helpful in establishing the proper exposure in situations where you have too much white or two much black in the scene. In such as situations the camera lightmeter is driven to nuts especially in matrix metering.
As a particular observation... correcting exposure in PP is OK in a small...Show more →
Mihai, you and Georg are indeed correct. The card is useful for not only white balance but exposure. And as Georg says, it is the most useful in a studio situation. He's also correct in saying that white balance is more of a personal taste thing.
The only thing I have about using the card over doing it in LR is the hassle factor. I guess I've gotten spoiled by using the eyedropper in LR. And even after that I sometimes find myself tweaking it one way or the other.