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Using a Gray Card to Nail Your Color

If you’re going to be post-processing your images using a program like Photoshop’s Camera Raw or Photoshop Lightroom, here’s a trick that will make the color correction process absolutely painless, and nearly automatic. Once you get your lighting in place, have your subject hold up a gray card target that has light gray on it (the one shown here is a target that comes free with my book, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers), then take a shot with it clearly in the frame. That’s it—you need just one shot with the subject holding the card. Now, when you open your photos in Photoshop’s Camera Raw or Lightroom’s Develop module, and get the White Balance tool from the Toolbox (or the Basic panel), then click it once on the light gray card, your white balance is set. You can now apply that same white balance to all your RAW photos by copying-and-pasting just that white balance setting to as many photos as you want at once. A huge time saver.

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