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Thread: Zone System (book)

  1. #21

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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Recommend the two-part article "Constant Quality Prints" by John L. Davenport in U.S. Camera

    An APUG member, dpgoldenberg, uploaded it to archive.org ...

    http://archive.org/details/ConstantQualityPrints

    This has the advantage that it pre-dates Zone System, and everyone acknowledges it was the underlying idea

  2. #22
    Kevin Kolosky
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    Re: Zone System (book)

    I think an even better thing to do would be to get with someone who uses the Zone system and have a conversation about it. Take a few notes, and ask a few questions. Boom. Your there.

    As Fred Picker once wrote "The zone system is not a new religion, nor will it change your life. Its just an exposure method that makes field usuable the simplest basics of sensitometery - more in camera exposure produces more negative density and less produces less. More development increases contrast, and less is less."

  3. #23

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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Thanks for all the responses. I was also recommended "The Art of Photography" by Bruce Barnbaum. I plan on taking a "Zone" class next semester at my local Jr College.

    I do have two Zone-related questions, though.

    1. Can the Zone System be applied to color photography or is it limited to B&W?
    2. Can the Zone System be applied to other kinds of photography (e.g., portraiture, etc) or is it limited to landscapes and such?

    Thanks.

  4. #24
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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Quote Originally Posted by macandal View Post
    I do have two Zone-related questions, though.

    1. Can the Zone System be applied to color photography or is it limited to B&W?
    2. Can the Zone System be applied to other kinds of photography (e.g., portraiture, etc) or is it limited to landscapes and such?

    Thanks.
    1. Absolutely, if you are thinking of the Zone System as a previsualization tool. When I make color photos, I measure the scene at critical points, and say, "Okay, I want place that shadowed area on Zone IV, and if I do, where will that brightly lit area over there fall?" If it's four stops brighter, and I'm using Velvia, it might fall on Zone X (Velvia maps five stops onto the ten zones, or thereabouts). I might drop the shadowed area down to Zone II and just let most of its detail go black to make sure that bright area stays ends up something other than clear film. We can't do much to control the contrast of color film through development as we can with black and white film, but we can still decide where we want the tones in the scene to be placed and where others will fall given what we know about the film.

    2. Absolutely, the Zone System can be applied to any type of photography. I cannot think about metering without some thoughts of the Zone System, at least in terms of deciding where tones need to be and where others might therefore fall. Now, for portraiture where I can control the lighting, I will start with the lighting ratios I want, and then adjust the lighting rather than adjusting film development or whatever. And I'll more likely use an incident meter in those situations. But the principles of previsualization still apply.

    Rick "whose notes all indicate Zone placement and where other tones fall as a result of those placements" Denney

  5. #25

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    Peterborough, NH
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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Bruce Barnbaum's "The Art of Photography" is excellent on the Zone Systerm, and much else. For my money, it is the best "how to" book around.

  6. #26
    Kevin Kolosky
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Macandal

    What kind of equipment do you have, and more specifically, what kind of light meter do you have?

    And have you ever developed black and white film and made a silver gelatin print from that film before?

  7. #27

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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    Neil,

    Please state, at least, two books on the Zone System that you consider "bad, or mis-leading".

    I've read magazine articles on the subject that were inferior and statements on the internet that were mis-leading,

    but I cannot remember a book that fits your definition of "bad, or mis-leading".
    There are a number of books on the zone system I've looked through at Powell Books in Portland (for example) that were misleading in some way. I seem to recall one that had an incorrect method to test film speed. Or, I've seen books that recommend increasing development by a specified percentage for determining an N+1 development time. (Versus, testing to determine an N+1 development.)

    As to names of a couple of these books, I don't recall, and I don't wish to spend time researching the topic. Much better to recommend a book that I think does a good job.

  8. #28

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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Quote Originally Posted by msrdsdr View Post
    Bruce Barnbaum's "The Art of Photography" is excellent on the Zone Systerm, and much else. For my money, it is the best "how to" book around.
    I will second this. I have lots and lots of photography books but there are four that I keep going back to over and over again. I love Ansel's three books (Camera, Negative and Print) and my copies are very tattered with the constant re-reading and referencing, but I consider Bruce's book to be just as useful and important a resource and I would be hard pressed to say which of the four get more use. You cannot go wrong with these books.

  9. #29

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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Check: White, Zakia and Lorenz
    The New Zone System Manual.
    Zone system its not easy....one grows with it by practicing at your individual rhythm and sensibility.
    Good luck !!!

  10. #30

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    Apr 2009
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    Leeds, Maryland
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    Re: Zone System (book)

    Lots of great books mentioned here. You also may want to check out a more recent book, "Way Beyond Monochrome, second edition". There are several chapters about expoure and development with loads of illustrations and photographs to help you understand the zone system. Also included are many advanced techniques for printing such as unsharp masking and contrast control with color enlargers.

    -Gerry
    one does not photograph something simply for “what it is”, but “for what else it is”. Minor White

    http://gerrymeekins.com

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