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The Dark Room -- Photo Editing and Picture Taking. Advice, tutorials, questions on all things photoshop, photo editing, and taking pictures of beads or glass.

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  #1  
Old 2015-01-31, 11:18am
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eregel eregel is offline
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Default How to use a grey card for color correction in Photoshop

I broke down and bought Photoshop Elements purely so I could do color correction using a grey card, and the difference is astounding.

A grey card is simply a piece of cardstock in 28% grey. You can get them at a photography store, or from eBay or Amazon. A small one is only $3-4 shipped, but I bought a package that had 2 larger ones and a small one for around $10, I'll explain why in a minute.

First, here's my little blue and white fishy without the grey card - I'm using a simple point and shoot, hand held, no light tent or tripod.



Notice the blue cast throughout. Now, here's the same shot with the beads sitting on a grey card - this is why I like having the large card available. If I just want a fast photo with better color, this somehow forces the camera to manage the color better.



Less of a blue cast, right? But check THIS out - same photo on the grey card, but using Photoshop Elements to correct the color.



Now the body of the fish is white, which is the true color of the bead! And it's a very simple process to follow - there's a really good free tutorial here:

http://layersmagazine.com/using-a-gr...amera-raw.html

The tutorial explains how to color correct an entire batch of pictures at once, it's well worth reading, but if you only want to do one, here's the method:

Take your photo with the grey card somewhere in it - you can put it someplace you'll crop out later, but the closer you get it to your bead the better the process will work.

In Photoshop Elements, click File, Open Camera Raw, and select your image.

When it opens, click the little eyedropper on the toolbar, then click on the grey card in the image.

Voila. The entire image should now appear in it's natural color. Click Save Image at the bottom of the screen, and do any other edits/crops.

Hope this helps - I've never been able to get some colors to come out even close, this solves the problem!
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  #2  
Old 2015-01-31, 11:30am
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Very nice! Thanks for the link, too.
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Old 2015-01-31, 11:49am
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Thanks Pat!
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Old 2015-01-31, 4:19pm
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Thanks Pat. I have a grey card. You have inspired me to use it.
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Old 2015-01-31, 5:02pm
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Thanks Pat! I've used a grey card since my class with Doug Baldwin this last summer, but you've just made all this a lot easier.
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Old 2015-02-04, 1:15pm
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Thanks alot for this information Pat.

This is going to make life soooo very much easier for us to get good results in very little time when we are trying to list our work online.
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Old 2015-02-04, 7:29pm
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Very nice, thanks Pat! And cute fish!
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Old 2015-02-15, 6:29pm
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Thanks for the information, Pat. I'm just getting set up to try to take some decent pictures of my beads and jewelry and this will help a lot.
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Old 2015-03-22, 7:27pm
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Thankyou for posting this, I have struggled with this.
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