Quick Tip Wednesday – Use a Gray Card

How many times have you been shooting nature or wildlife images where the colors look great on your camera’s LCD but seem a little off in Lightroom? You can spend hours tweaking the white balance and HSL sliders in Lightroom’s develop module trying to get your on-screen image to look like you remember it or you can buy a WhiBal gray card from the folks at RawWorkflow.com and solve this problem in just a few seconds.

Using a Gray Card

Fixing your white balance in Lightroom using a WhiBal gray card is as simple as clicking the White Balance Selector tool (eye-dropper) in the “Basic” panel of the “Develop Module” and then clicking on the neutral gray area of the WhiBal gray card in your image. The Temp and Tint sliders in the Basic panel will adjust to make the selected color neutral, resulting in the correct white balance for these lighting conditions. The final step is to “sync” the white balance for all the other images taken in the same lighting conditions.

5 thoughts on “Quick Tip Wednesday – Use a Gray Card

  1. A whitecard is easy to do yourself, I just cut the bottom out of a white bucket.

    Graycard is maybe more tricky. I know some of the photoshopbooks that Kelby write have a page in the back with white, black and greys you can cut out. Cheap 😉

    • Michael,

      That’s exactly right. The gray card allows you to set a custom white balance in Lightroom (or in your camera but I’ll save that for another post) and use that white balance for a series of images taken under the same lighting conditions.


  2. Thanks for the tip. Though I wonder the advantage of getting a branded stuff when one can do it with a grey card itself. Perhaps the integrity of the 18% grey is an issue here….just guessing

    • Anirban,

      I’ve used lots of other gray cards but only the WhiBal includes the perfect gray as well as pure white and black. The pocket size card is only $30 (USD) and its well worth the money for me.


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