Gray Card

Photography is not about how much skills ones are having or how much is one capable of. Sometimes it depends on timing & the environment in which one is shooting the picture. Mainly there are two types of shootings of a picture one is outdoor another one is indoor. The outdoor shoot doesn't require lighting unless it's a night shoot, but sometimes artists prefer to shoot in the natural light of the moon. Ten comes the indoor shooting in this type of shooting the artificial lighting is necessary to glow out the image, so sometimes flash in the camera is used but it just focuses on the image only & the product then looks bad. Then artificial lights over the image are positioned, but it is not directly focused over the object instead of its positioned over a gray card which then absorbs some light & then reflects the required light. What a gray card is- It is a reflective object which reflects the light over to the subject to provide the needed exposure. A gray card consists of a reflective screen which is somewhat grey. The size of the gray card depends upon the type of purpose it is being used for. Why use a gray card- there are plenty of reasons below

  • It is used to provide the required exposure.
  • Sometimes when the object which is going to be photographed is shiny, or it possesses a shiny surface then reflecting light directly over it is not a good idea. So there a gray card is considered for the work.
  • Sometimes for the indoor shoots, natural lights are needed like when the photograph requires natural light instead of artificial light then also gray card is helpful. Suppose the object is far away from the light the gray card will reflect the light to the object without even absorbing the light.
  • Mostly gray cards are used in the fashion industry to shoot the magazine covers as it glows the face which is mostly required in this case.
What are the limitations to use the gray card- It is only used to reflect the light not to produce it because the artificial source of light is focused on the gray card then only it reflects the light on the object. This is also not used to change the exposure; instead, it enhances the exposure with its preinstalled screen. One should be able to decide which type of gray card shoots the requirements like there are many types of gray cards present. All of them differ in the quality of the screen like paper, glass, cloths, concrete, etc. How to use the gray card-
  • First, decide that which type of shoot is there is it outdoor shoot or indoor shoot.
  • Then is there a requirement of the gray card
  • For which purpose one is opting to use the gray card is it for fashion purpose or interior shoot.
  • Type & the intensity of artificial lighting.
  • The requirement of gray card screen material is of plastic, glass or paper should be pre-decided according to the shoot.
  • If the shooting requires natural light, then the gray card with a glass screen is mostly preferred by the photographers who do the indoor shoots
  • Then place the object at its place, observe the angle of artificial lighting to the gray card so that proper exposure is provided
  • Mark the intensity of the light which is required by the object.
  • Sometimes a white balance cap is also preferred over the use of the gray card & it gives more lighting to the object. But if the lighting required for the object is sufficiently provided with the gray card, then there is no use of white balance cap.
  • Selection of proper camera for the shoot is mostly required because sometime this omits the use of the gray card in the indoor shootings.
  • The size of the gray card also matters as it describes the intensity from which it will provide the lights on the object. Sometimes choosing a large gray card for a shot produces more exposure than what’s initially required.

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