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Vortex Media Warm Cards

Vortex Media Warm Cards

A Creative COW Product Review

Jim Harvey reviews: Vortex Media Warm Cards

Jim Harvey Jim Harvey
JHV Digital
New York, USA

©Copyright 2005 Jim Harvey and Creativecow.net. All Rights Reserved
Article Focus:
In this article, CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey reviews Vortex Media Warm Cards and states, "You know you do it. We all do it. It’s not something that we brag about. It’s not even something that we think about too much. White Balancing. Sure some guys carry a worn out piece of white paper, or they use the foamcore to set the camera. We’ve balanced on walls, notepaper, even the fat guy’s t-shirt. It gets us by and we get on with the show. But as we are all professionals, shouldn’t we have a professional system to white balance out gear and do it consistently? Well, we do and we can." Read on to discover an effective answer to your white balancing dilemmas....





Vortex Media ( www.vortexmedia.com ) has a great little kit called Warm Cards. It consists of 6 cards in a very sleek carry case that can make your shoot a breeze. Not only is there a true 100IRE white card (on the back of each Warm Card), but there are also three blue cards in varying shades or values that you can use to warm up your picture. For some projects you want a true white balance. When accurate color reproduction is paramount, white balancing against a true 100IRE reference will keep your colors true. But as with life, sometimes we want a little diversity. That's where the Warm Cards shine.

By offering 3 different shades of blue (Warm 1, Warm 2, Warm 3) we can get varying degrees of warming to our image. White balancing against blue will shift the color to the red end of the spectrum. As you can see in the photos, the different cards will deliver three distinct "looks" to the image.

Warm Cards come in a sleek zippered case
Fig. 1 Warm Cards come in a sleek zippered case

Three of the cards are full size (6x9) and are great for the studio or when you're working off a tripod in the field. The other three are pocket size, which are handy for "run & gun" situations. Vortex has thoughtfully included a lanyard to keep the pocket size cards always at the ready. There's even a Shot Log sheet (that you can scan and make copies of) where you can keep track of which card you used for which shot or job. They throw in a sharpie in its own holder so you don't have to scrounge for something to write with.

The cards themselves are coated in a non-reflective plastic that will keep them looking new for years. Dirt easily washes off and they're waterproof to boot. All in all a well thought out system.

So you have your white balance and warming covered, what about if you shoot under Fluorescent lights? You know that you need to white balance against something green and chances are that the fat guy's t-shirt won't be the right color green. Vortex has an add-on pack that has a minus green card (large and small) and they've thrown in a 1/2 Warm in large and small sizes. Each card carries the 100IRE white reference on the back so you've got all your bases covered.

The Warm Cards system
Fig. 2 The Warm Cards system covers most of the white balance situations you're likely to encounter.



White Balance and Warm Balance



In Conclusion

While the price may seem a bit high, the simple fact that you can now have absolute repeatability in your setup and the fact that these cards aren't likely to wind up worn out, torn, smudged or lost (Most likely you will guard them jealously), make the Warm Cards a valuable addition to your shooting kit and well worth the price.


Anything that can make your images look better, give you more consistency and make your job easier should be a part of your arsenal. Warm Cards Deliver. They also make a set for digital photographers.

They're durable, accurate, portable and don't take up much space in your bag.

5 Cows.



©Copyright 2005 Jim Harvey | Creative Cow
All Rights Reserved


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