than grey

You don t always need a grey card-there are other options!

A dedicated photographic grey card is ideal for creating a custom White Balance setting, and you ll find a wide variety of different types available from a number of different retailers. However, anything that has a neutral grey or white tone can make a good target for White Balance adjustments, and here welisted a selection of alternatives that you can use, ranging from high-tech solutions to simple, more affordable options.

Use a piece of paper

Yes, itthat simple. Grab a sheet of paper from your printer s input tray and use it as a target for your White Balance setting. Technically, it may not be perfectly neutral-some papers have hints of colour from brightening agents-but it ll be close enough for most situations.

Photographic reflectors

This is the reverse of the grey card used in our walkthrough. Itwhite rather than grey, but that only matters if youmeasuring exposure rather than just White Balance. In principle, any reflector, such as those used in portrait photography, should work perfectly well.


 than grey

This is the ExpoDisc White Balance attachment (see www.daymen.co.uk). You screw it onto your lens and point the camera at the light source to measure the White Balance. It can also be used for incident exposure measurements, to check the light falling on the subject.

Your favourite newspaper

Ordinary newspapers can be good White Balance targets, though itbecoming increasingly difficult to find papers that donuse colour photos-these are no good, for obvious reasons. Also, make sure you avoid a certain UK financial publication that uses pink paper...

White Balance swatches

This is the Polaroid Digital Grey Card set (?8, $12) used in our Key Skill panel. Itdesigned to help set the White Balance in the editing phase on a computer by acting as a neutral test target. You place a card somewhere within the scene, and you then remove it for the final shot.

Neutralised colours

Now you can apply these White Balance values to all your other shots in the sequence. This is a great method when youshooting objects that don t contain any neutral tones. These brass instruments, for example, are gold rather than grey, but this method preserves all their colours accurately.

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