Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photography Tips and Tricks: Gray Card

As of late, I have been super duper into learning about photography.  Like crazy into it. Like I'd be happy to sit and read and watch videos and practice it all day long.  (It's actually taking away from my blogging time.)  I've just found it to be an incredibly rewarding hobby.  Not only is it fun and enjoyable, but it results in memorable pictures of my family.  And the things you can do in Photoshop after a shot is taken??  Insane.  I could spend hours fiddling with one photo.  I just love it.

One of the things I recently read about during my photography mania was the use of a gray card.  And I immediately had to order myself one to add to my still small yet ever-growing photography bag.

What it is is this:
(drumroll, please)
it is a card that is gray.
(symbols clash)

18% neutral gray, to be exact.

And that's it.  Sounds ridiculously simple, right?

But what that ridiculously simple 18% neutral gray card can do is this:

It turns your photos from this

into this

Awesome, right???

What happens is this.  When you're in a situation where the lighting is off or throwing a weird color cast onto your subject, you take a picture of the gray card in that light.  Then you tell your camera to use your picture of the gray card as its basis for white balance.  The camera knows what the neutral gray should look like in proper lighting, and it uses that knowledge as a basis for making appropriate adjustments to any future pictures you take.  I know that's not the best explanation ever.  You can check out the blog post that got me hooked on buying a gray card here: It explains it much better. :)

But basically, what I'm saying is, if you're into photography and finding yourself with photos that are off-color, invest in a gray card.  Mine was less than 10 bucks after shipping off of Amazon.  Just make sure your camera has a custom white balance option before you order.  Otherwise the gray card may not help you out so much.

And now, to finish up, just a couple more pics of the bathtime boy. :)

God bless!

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