You just took a shot of a beautiful magenta shirt, you go to upload it to your computer and it looks pink! No problem, you could just edit it, right? Hmm…not exactly. You can play around editing one photo, but when you have hundreds of photos that have to be true to color, the problem becomes much bigger.
Regardless of the lighting or equipment you use to do the photo shoot, changes in image colors are bound to happen. This is especially concerning for e-commerce stores because showing colors that are not accurate can make the customer feel deceived.
A solution we recommend to our clients is using a gray card or a color checker. Grey cards work well in most cases and are less expensive than color checkers. If you want a higher level of precision and can afford it, grab a color checker. We will focus on the gray card for this tip.
What is a Gray Card?
According to the dictionary, a gray card is “a card of controlled reflectance held near a subject to approximate middle tones and used as a target for an exposure meter”.
How Does a Gray Card Work?
The gray card works as a reference point to adjust your white balance and exposure. You simply take a shot of the gray card at the beginning of your photo shoot and use it during your photo editing process as a guide for white balance and exposure.
Steps to use a gray card:
1- Take a photo of the gray card
2- Navigate to your camera’s menu and choose the white balance setting (WB) and select the image of the gray card you just took
3- Set your camera white balance to custom
These instructions may vary according to your camera. By using a gray card or a color checker, you won’t have to worry about calibrating different monitors. It is also useful to let your photo editing team know exactly the colors you want to achieve in each shot.