Assignment 3 for 123: Intro to the Zone System

This assignment is a basic introduction into Zone System techniques using a 4x5 camera.

The Zone System is a process where a photographer pre-visualizes the scene/subject matter before the camera and makes a conscience decision on exposure and future development technics prior to taking the photograph. This system allows the photographer to create a negative that easier to print for their final artistic vision. 

For this assignment photograph a landscape with either a high-contrast scene, or one that is very low contrast. First, meter and process a sheet a film like you normally would have. Then, using a spot meter, take meter readings of different areas of the scene. Mark down the meter readings on a small sketch or around some sort of instant image. Metering the shadow detail determine your film exposure. Look at the spot meter readings for your highlight detail. If the highlight detail is too far above the determined shadow exposure, under develop the film to reduce the contrast of the scene. If the highlight detail is too close to the established exposure reading, consider adding development to increase exposure.

Below is a chart illustrating the Zone System and what each zone represents in terms of detail on paper. Remember that shadow with detail is Zone 3. Zone 8 is good white detail. it is between these areas that we are trying to make a negative easily printable onto paper.

Due in class on March 20th is a proof sheet with each negative and then the best possible print you can achieve with your Zone System negative.

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