Archive for tools
An F2.8 member asks, “What is a good grey card and light meter to go with? There are so many that I would like a recommendation from someone I trust!”
Well first of all thank you for your trust! But I have to admit once again that I am not a very technical person. I do know what works for me and I am happy to share that with you.
I do not believe that any one grey (or gray) card is the perfect card. Without buying a dozen of them and testing them all out and writing a review (which I’m sorry, is not my style) I can not say what is the best.
The important thing is using to use the tools correctly and consistently. I do cover grey card usage in the “Beyond the Photography Instruction Manual” available here. http://barbgordonphotocoach.com/blog/products/beyond-the-manual-beyond-the-photography-instruction-manual
I have used the same grey card for many years. I did get a new one when digital came out. I tried a card by created by Gary Box that had a lot of grey tones on it so you could click balance in increments. Gary Box has a line of books called Digibooks available at http://www.garybox.com/index2.html. For those of you who need to learn technical aspects of digital these books deliver. Book Four has his grey card and instructions in it. I own all of his books and they are worth every cent!
Meanwhile I did a little digging for some links on grey cards. These are so affordable that you can not really go wrong trying a few different ones for yourself.
This is a cute and very portable set of cards in picture number one is very affordable at around $12. I might have to order one of these myself! I like being able to put it around my neck and not have a big clunky card I have to fetch out of my camera bag.
The Zeikos Digital Grey Card Set provides you with a handy white balance tool that you can wear around the neck or easily stash in a camera bag. Because color temperature varies under different lighting sources (i.e. sunlight, fluorescent, halogen, incandescent) it’s important to use a white balance card, either in pre or post production, for accurate color representation under any type of light. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/738232-REG/Zeikos_ZE_DGC_Digital_Grey_Card_Set.html
This is the kind of card I have been using for years in image two. These are available in all camera stores and also for around $12.
I am going to say again that it is more important that you learn how to use your tools correctly for consistent results. Keep testing your process and refine it until you get the results you need.
The grey card I use outdoors I know that I always have to open up my f-stop one full stop to get the correct exposure. I learned this with practice. Practice before you are with a real client please! Your customers deserve the best work you can produce so figure out your system before you sell your services.
Oh! My member also asked about light meters. I use the light meter already in my camera set to just the center spot to meter off of my grey card. Get close enough to fill the viewfinder with the card to get your reading. Make any adjustments (usually it is opening up a bit) then recompose the image how you want it. More details on this are found in the “Beyond the Photography Instruction Manual”.
Portrait photography takes a little bit of care and time. No one expects you to get to a location, jump out of the car, and start snapping away willy nilly. Take the professional approach and meter it right!
I just photographed a one year boy and his large birthday cake. You know boys, they are not as dainty as us girls. As soon as the little guy figured out what was going on, the cake was beginning to get moved all over the table.
The solution was a dab of “Collectors Hold Museum Putty”. I have used it often for securing glass vases to the counter top but not before today had I thought of having some in my camera room. This worked fabulous to hold a cake plate in place as the active little guy demolished his cake.
I also put a little under each leg of the table to keep it from scooting across the hardwood floor as he leaned on it. No more duct taping for me!
If you want to know where to get some putty:
Learn about all of my other tools and equipment I have in my studio in my “Photography Studio Must Haves” by clicking here.