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Doug Clifford from Ace Camera Index

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  a message from Doug Clifford

New/old idea...
A better gray card?

FIRST, let me congratulate John Odam on his book "Guide to Digital Photography" and on winning the Design Center's "Editor Choice Book of the Year" Award. It's a superb book for anyone who wants the very most from their digital camera.

Gray cards are an indispensible part of a serious photographer's toolkit. Unfortunately they don't last long. In nearly 40 years of photography, I've gone through more gray cards than I care to remember. All the ones I've ever used have been printed on cardboard. With normal use and handling, a gray card soon becomes soiled and fingerprinted, dog-eared and bent.
__ Recently I discovered Fotowand Technic in Sudwalde, Germany. Fotowand makes highly durable gray cards, color reference cards and many other quality light measuring tools for photographers, photo lab technicians and graphic designers.
__ Fotowand's color gray card is more than a gray card. It contains six color circles also with 18% reflectance - yellow, magenta, cyan, orange red, green and violet blue. It also includes two gray reference circles, one darker and one lighter than the 18% gray background.
__ The color gray circles serve an important function. When shooting a test frame, it allows the photographer to instantly compare the color balance of one film over another. Sometimes professional photographers need a perfect color match between the subject they've photographed and the color print. A custom photo lab can easily see color bias in the test frame and make whatever color correction is needed.
__ Watch these pages for my upcoming piece on the use of the gray card, and how this gray card will arm digital photographers with the power of "gray."
__ Meanwhile, you may want to visit Fotowand Technic in Sudwalde, Germany, and get the low-down on these highly durable gray cards and color reference cards. Please tell them Doug Clifford sent you!

Doug Clifford

(Doug Clifford is the webmaster for the ACE Indexes, an annotated directory of North American photo commerce web sites, expanding soon to include Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.)


Digital Cameras Gather Steam
The Online Photo Art Auction
Politically Correct Photography: What Do You Think?
Can't Find the Battery your camera needs?

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