Using a gray card

I bought a gray card and a reflector and hadn’t gotten the chance to really practice using it. I tried to use the gray card when I first got it, but couldn’t figure out how to set the white balance using the preset feature in my camera. Well, on this day, I told my oldest that I was going to try it and that I really needed her to practice on. I finally figured out how to use the image of the gray card. The images only needed slight post processing. I fixed what I needed to on her skin, maybe lightened up the image a little and sharpened. When I looked at the histogram, I did see a definite spike in the middle, which I think is the result that I’m to be going after.  The reflector is another story altogether. I’ve seen how it helps lift shadows from the eyes and face. However, being the one to hold the reflector and take the image is a rather difficult thing to do.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie McLeod
    Mar 15, 2009 @ 08:30:00

    The results are beautiful, Julie. I really, really love that first shot. The light and DOF seem so perfect to me. I’ve never used a real reflector but I can imagine it would be tricky without an assistant.

  2. suehenryphotography
    Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:34:02

    So…tell us more about “how” to use the gray card! 🙂

  3. julielawsonphotography
    Mar 15, 2009 @ 12:57:36

    Sorry Sue…I didn’t think of doing that. I will update the post shortly. : )

  4. Jen Rinaldi Photography
    Mar 15, 2009 @ 18:30:53

    They look great and the reflector really did help. I can’t imagine holding the reflector and taking the photos but sometimes if you are taking headshots the person you are taking can hold the reflector at their waist on an angle towards their face and that helps!

    I need to learn about the gray card. 🙂

  5. oneshotbeyond
    Mar 16, 2009 @ 00:15:22

    wow! you’re getting the technical stuff down so well Julie. These are really nice portraits.

  6. colblue
    Mar 16, 2009 @ 07:26:45

    Some beautiful lighting and DOF with these portraits. You did well to hold the reflector and take the shot.

    A grey card can/does help when shooting in different lighting conditions. I use a White Balance card instead of a grey card. When used properly it is a wonderful bit of kit!

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