I got a fun email last week from Michael Davis, (a reader of my books), about his experience in Tanzania shooting with the gray card included in my Photoshop CS5 for Digital Photographer’s book. He wrote:

“On my way to Tanzania to photograph chimpanzees, I had ample opportunity to read your Photoshop CS5 for Digital Photographers ( I actually read it cover to cover).  It is simply fantastic and I have moved almost all of my other ref material off the shelf and replaced them with this book and your LR3 book for digital photographers (which I read cover to cover on my return trip).  Plus, if I need a chuckle in life, I read some of your intro chapters…makes me smile.”

OK, most authors would be happy that he bought two of their books, but actually what really made me happy was that he appreciated the quirky chapter intros. This guy—I like! Now, back to our story:

“I knew the chimp photography would be challenging because of not being able to use a tripod and because of the very low light situation under the dense trees.  I was right. Very high ISOs required.  But one thing I did want to do was to try to get the WB stuff right, so I tore out (hey it’s perf’d so it’s meant to be removed, right?) the swatch at the back of the CS5 book and carried it with me into the deepest, darkest jungles of the Mahale jungles of western Tanzania.  I thought you might enjoy seeing an image of my wife holding the swatch near our first chimp sighting.”

Below is a photo of his wife holding the gray card during their shoot (the mask she’s holding is a surgical mask they have to wear when photographing chimps in the wild).

On his hike back out, he had put the card into his pocket, but the heat was pretty sweltering, and by the time he had gotten back, the card had pretty much turned to mush, and he was hoping to get a replacement (which, we course gladly sent him).

Anyway, I thought the whole story was cool (especially the part about the chapter intros. ;-), and I wanted to share it with you guys, as Michael was kind enough to let me share his story and one of his wonderful chimp photos as well. Thanks Michael.

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About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.