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Question Gray Card

Lafontsee

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
395
Does anyone here know if there is a matboard that is exactly 18 percent gray to use as a gray card for color balancing? I've got lots of mat scraps, but no gray card to compare to. Maybe B8544 Photo Grey?

Thanks!
James
 

GUMBY GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 7, 2001
Messages
4,560
Go to any good art supply store ask for a grey scale or I could sell one.
They are about $1.50
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
808
Does anyone here know if there is a matboard that is exactly 18 percent gray to use as a gray card for color balancing? I've got lots of mat scraps, but no gray card to compare to. Maybe B8544 Photo Grey?

Thanks!
James
Question - why do you color balance to the grey? We use the white point on a Macbeth color card, and it is usually about 98% correct. Sometimes we have to back off the opacity just a bit, but it sure gets us really close quickly.

PS - we have tried the grey and black points, but seems the white gets us the closest.
 

Lafontsee

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
395
Question - why do you color balance to the grey? We use the white point on a Macbeth color card, and it is usually about 98% correct. Sometimes we have to back off the opacity just a bit, but it sure gets us really close quickly.

PS - we have tried the grey and black points, but seems the white gets us the closest.
I'm not entirely sure. One of my coworkers who is working on reproducing some paintings asked me about it so I posted here. I'll mention the color card. Thanks!
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
8,699
In "olden times", a gray card was used in photography to get an accurate light reading for exposure.
It was not used for color balancing.
White is what is used for color balancing.
Problem with using a color to balance other than white is that the color can't be matched perfectly where the white is 255 on the histogram scale... i.e..: white is white. You make even an off white 255 and it is pure white.

As posted above get a Macbeth card and use the white squares on it to balance. Some software will also make the grays neutral which also helps to settle the other colors into place.
 
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njw1224

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
137
Use white to color balance, and FYI - white Gator board is very neutral. I keep a sheet in my studio just for shooting as a white balance target. It works great where many other foam boards and mat board whites are too warm or too cool for using as color balance targets.
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
8,699
I used a large piece of competition plate for my white board in my studio when shooting large art.
 

Daniel Smith

True Grumbler
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
50
The gray card is generally used to meter exposure for copy work. A Color Separation guide from Kodak or similar is put next to or in front of artwork to give an accurate reading for printing and color separations.
B&H Photo or a decent photo supply or graphic arts supply house will have them.
Using materials with a known industry standard makes it easier for anyone down the line who works in the field to get the colors accurate as possible.
 
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