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Gray, grey, GRRRRAAAYYYY

K.D. Lightner

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
Boy, do I get confused!! I peruse fedoras on Ebay and hat stores on the internet. Recently, I have been trying to purchase a light gray hat with a decent brim ( 2 1/2" up to 3").

First of all, my monitor is not trustworthy on depicting a gray/grey color. Darker grays seem to look medium gray and medium grays look light. Some of the lighter grays seem almost white, and sometimes tan looks gray, as well as a few other colors. So, I have to ask questions.

Then, there are the Ebay sellers who do not know gray(or grey) from Silverbelly and so describe a hat as light gray when it is not. Recently, I purchased an Akubra Squatter, which was described by the seller as light gray. When I got it, it turned out to be what I would call a steely gray, hardly light gray, which I envision as something way closer to white than to black. I think what I got was one called Moonstone.

Finally, there are all the colors listed as gray. Some I can envision regardless of the photos on my monitor,i.e., Charcoal gray, Steel gray, Iron Gray, etc. But, even these can differ from hat to hat.

Here are some hat colors that have been seen as light gray on my monitor:

Caribou, Senate, Bark, Sand, Silverbelly, Almond, Taupe, Pearl, Pearl Gray, Steel Gray, Iron Gray, Light Gray, Crystal, Silver, Silver Mist, Silver Gray, Pale, Mist Grey, Medium Gray, Bankers Gray, Gray Heather, Ivory, Saber, Graphite, Off-White, Winter White -- boy, have I missed any??

What's a girl to do?!!?

karol
 

maintcoder

A-List Customer
Messages
320
Location
WA
It is a problem Karol, as I have been searching for some grey hats to go with a few suits I wear. Some grey hats look almost green in some photos and other looks very light or blue. It has been a real challenge, so I feel for you.
 

PutALidOnIt

One of the Regulars
Messages
182
Location
Sunny Florida
Technical stuff

Karol,

Photbyalan can correct me if I'm wrong, but...

If you want to balance your monitor, use whatever imaging application you have on your PC, and set a medium gray with the RGB values. For example, make a background swatch with 128 - 128 - 128, which is 50 percent gray and neutral. Make that color look as close to neutral as you can with your monitor color settings. It is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

Next, keep in mind that you have no real idea of what lighting conditions the auction photos were taken under. Look at any surrounding clues; daylight through a window, a white piece of paper - anything that you coud use as a reference point.

If you copy the image to a file, then determine the true color by assessing the item's RGB values (all close to the same number = neutral gray), you can generally judge how close the item is to the gray you are seeking.

This is not a foolproof method, especially if there is no definitive reference color, but you may get a better idea about the "gray" you are bidding on.
 

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