Tutorial Tuesday: Using a gray card

Open your RAW image
Select your white balance dropper and select a portion of your gray card
Make any adjustments you need in ACR and open your image in PS
Add a levels adjustment layer so that you can adjust the opacity or mask anything if you need to.
Use the white, gray and black droppers to select the corresponding cards and save your levels preset to use for editing the same session.

Continue to edit to your personal style :)


  1. I know what you did is important but for some reason I cannot grasp it.

  2. so simple & yet so BRILLIANT!! Kind of gave me a "duh" & "aha!" moment at the same time!

  3. Wow, that's very helpful. I'll have to keep that in mind for when I get real photoshop! (I only have PSE right now)

  4. I'm confused--do you get the subject to hold the cards before the session, then set your levels preset in photoshop... then use this preset for the remainder of the session?

    But, if you change the same photo shooting to indoors, would you have to start all over and get the subject to hold the cards again?


  5. Correct...or you can use the gray card to set your custom white balance in camera in a matter of seconds.
    Someone had requested how to use gray cards, not set the white balance, and I happily accepted :)

  6. Nice tutorial and I love the red nail polish. I'm curious where you got the cards from (they look like paint chips) and how you selected the right colors? I really enjoy your tutorials and your photography.

  7. This isn't my exact set but it is similar.


  8. Before I bought a gray card I experimented with
    one I printed at home. It worked quite well. I
    share the files online at


  9. I have a gray card and never use it because I really didn't know what to do with it. I also did not know you could save the levels adjustment. Wow. Thanks so much! =)

  10. Can you save a levels preset in Elements do you know?

  11. You can't save your own custom one, but you can load one already made.

  12. How do you save your levels preset at the end?
    Thank you!!


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