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Photographing Your Work

Jun 21, 2016 | Expert's Corner | 0 comments

Other than arranging the object or objects you’re photographing in an attractive manner, the most important requirement for achieving good photographs is getting the camera adjusted to the ambient light.

This used to be a really big problem back in the film days, but it is much easier with digital cameras. In fact, it is no problem at all when you use a “gray card.” This is typically an 8-by-10-inch cardboard designed to reflect 18% of the light hitting it. It is gray in color (accounting for its name), and it’s available from most photography suppliers.

With any consumer or prosumer digital camera, set the white balance to “custom” and fill the frame with the gray card leaning up against the object you’re photographing. (You will probably have to zoom the lens.) Follow the instructions for the camera to evaluate the white balance.

This is a lot easier and usually more accurate than selecting one of the pre-sets for incandescent, cool-white fluorescent, sunlight, cloudy, etc. when you most likely have a mixture of these. For example, you may have daylight streaming in the windows of your shop, blending with cool-white fluorescents.