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Thread: HELP! Grey card/WB/Eye dropper in ACR?

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    Member Sleeper's Avatar
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    HELP! Grey card/WB/Eye dropper in ACR?

    Ok. Lesson one (or maybe two) in digital photography with RAW. Get the white balance right.

    Easier said than done. Here's what I found so far. Bear in my I use ACR.

    "Use a white balance card and use the WB eye dropper on the 18% grey"
    "... eye dropper on white"
    "... eye dropper on black"
    "... eye dropper on 12% grey. 18% grey is for film"
    "... eye dropper on 18% grey than push exposure by 1/2 stop"
    "eye dropper on the second brightest grey next to pure white in a color checker chart"
    "18% grey is for custom WB ON THE CAMERA"
    "eye dropper on any of the neutral tone"

    Now I'm absolutely fed up with all these discrepancies, and that list of nonsense just goes on and on. I'm fairly certain 18% grey is for exposure metering.

    When I actually am going that far to use an eye dropper to determine white balance. I want it PERFECT. I have spent 200 dollars for Spyder3. I don't want some half assed solution like "eye dropper on a color that you THINK is neutral tone" or "18% and 12% grey are close enough that either will be fine. That to me is just pure rubbish.

    Can someone please explain what I need to determine the perfect white balance in ACR with the eye dropper? 18% grey? (already got this one) or 12% grey? (point me to an actual product that is a 12% grey card. thanks. I'm having problem finding one.) or the grey next to the white on the Color checker chart?

    Thanks in advance for any useful reply. However, if you can't post an answer that you know is correct both theoretically and in actual practice don't worry about posting. Or put it this way. Only post if you know: "ACR white balance eye dropper meters on xx% grey. So you will need a <certain product>. Shoot that <certain product>, and click your ACR WB eye dropper on <which part of the product>. IF ANYONE SAYS OTHERWISE, THEY ARE WRONG, AND I'M 100% RIGHT."

    This topic is driving me nuts.
    Currently snapping away with -> Canon 500D + 7D | EFS 18-55mm | EFS 55-250mm | EF 300 f/4

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Easy. Ignore the grey one. Click on the black eye dropper and click on somewhere in your photo that is pure black. Then click on the white eye dropper and click somewhere in your photo that is pure white. Done.

    To use all three, you really need to take a spyder cube or a white balance sheet (that has white, black and grey on it), into the field with you and take a test shot of it in your scene. Then you get home and use your eye dropper, but click on the card in your test photo, that gives you an accurate setting, which you then apply to other shots taken in the same shoot. Remember though that light changes, so if doing something like a sunset shoot, you would probably need to redo a 'test shot' every few minutes to allow for compensating for the changing light.

    confused you enough yet?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Easy. Ignore the grey one. Click on the black eye dropper and click on somewhere in your photo that is pure black. Then click on the white eye dropper and click somewhere in your photo that is pure white. Done.

    To use all three, you really need to take a spyder cube or a white balance sheet (that has white, black and grey on it), into the field with you and take a test shot of it in your scene. Then you get home and use your eye dropper, but click on the card in your test photo, that gives you an accurate setting, which you then apply to other shots taken in the same shoot. Remember though that light changes, so if doing something like a sunset shoot, you would probably need to redo a 'test shot' every few minutes to allow for compensating for the changing light.

    confused you enough yet?
    Hi, I have taken my grey card and used it on the field. The one I have is White, Black, and 18% Grey. So just take a shot of it and click on the 18% grey?

    I have problem finding black/white eye dropper in the ACR.

    No I'm not confused. I have seen more convoluted methods.

    Thanks for the reply.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Ah ok. I get it now. You click the white balance dropper and click the grey card. That is all, there is nothing more to do. easy

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Ah ok. I get it now. You click the white balance dropper and click the grey card. That is all, there is nothing more to do. easy
    Thanks. I can finally sleep well at night.

    Edit- Now that I think of it, you'd have to take shot of the grey card if you shoot in different direction as well at different places too? A place with more leaves and bushes would have a greener cast with the reflection from the leafs? Then, when there's multiple light sources such as a mixture of flash/sun/light bulb from different directions, the direction you shoot will have different color cast/temperature too?
    Last edited by Sleeper; 22-11-2009 at 6:10pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
    Thanks. I can finally sleep well at night.

    Edit- Now that I think of it, you'd have to take shot of the grey card if you shoot in different direction as well at different places too? A place with more leaves and bushes would have a greener cast with the reflection from the leafs? Then, when there's multiple light sources such as a mixture of flash/sun/light bulb from different directions, the direction you shoot will have different color cast/temperature too?
    Yep. If you want a perfect white balance for each location, yes. Sometimes a photo doesn't have to be white balanced perfectly to create the result you want, a warmer white balance or a cooler one, might just make your photo work better.

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