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Old Oct 22, 2012, 11:40 AM   #1
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Default Gray Card

I'd like some help in figuring out what went wrong.

I shooting with a Canon DSLR and Canon lenses.

I took a photo with a gray card in it. The I used the gray card in the photo to set the white balance in Lightroom. (I used the thing that looked like an eyedropper).

I did not agree with the white balance settings at all.

This is the same process I have used when I used the white side (opposite side) of the gray card. And when I use the white card, my white balance works fine!

Last, I was using the gray side because I found out that on a sunny day, the white card blows out and I can't do a white balance adjustment when the white is blown out.

Yes, I also know that there's a WB setting for sun. So, please orient your comments towards the gray card. I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong in my use of it.


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Old Oct 22, 2012, 3:00 PM   #2
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G'day FP

Okay mate - Grey Matter onto Grey Card problem...
My understanding of the usage for the grey card is via exposure - not WB, tho I see regular media comments re- photoshop editing of raw images "to use the eye-dropper to select a grey area within the image and define this to be grey" - thus other colours will then magically come good

Beyond this, I don't think I'm much help to you ~ hopefully others here use it and can better answer your Q

Regards, Phil
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Old Oct 22, 2012, 3:03 PM   #3
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Default Thanks Phil

I did some more reading and affirmed what you wrote.
The gray side is not for white balance.

So here's my follow up question. Since the white card is "blown out", or too bright for Photoshop to work with, what's the work around?

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Old Oct 22, 2012, 3:43 PM   #4
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If you are using a grey card to set WB, you should use it to set the custom WB in the camera, with the card filling the frame. Setting it after the fact with a photo editor or Raw converter may not work well.
White balance involves not only color temperature, but a tint factor as well. (something to do with how cameras see) Camera settings for WB are weighted for the type of lighting you select - the curves adjustments are different for each color channel. IIRC, using the eyedropper in Post-process sets the grey area as mid-point for all three channels, but does not affect the existing curves, so you can sometimes get odd effects, particularly if the light has a color cast to it. (sunset, tungsten, etc.)

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