The Practical Zone System for Film and Digital Photography
Classic Tool, Universal Applications
This sixth edition of The Practical Zone System by Chris Johnson updates the classic manual on Ansel Adams's landmark technique for the digital age. For photographers working digitally or with film, in color or black and white, in the studio or on the go, this simple visual language helps to control contrast and, through a process called Previsualization, provides photographers with the power of free creative expression.
This new edition discusses recent advances in technology and potentials for their use in zone photography, including HDR, smartphone cameras that shoot in raw format and smartphone light meters. Johnson demonstrates how the Zone System is a universal visual and conceptual language that dramatically simplifies the problem of creating and rendering complex lighting setups.
Table of Contents
1. "Will It Come Out?"
2. Print Quality, Negative Contrast, and Dynamic Range
3. The Control of Negative Contrast
4. The Zone
7. An Overview of the Zone System
8. Zone System Testing: Method 1
9. Zone System Testing: Method 2
10. The Zone System and Digital Photography
11. The Zone System and Studio Photography
Appendix A. Color Management, Profiles, and Color Spaces
Appendix B. A Primer on Studio Lighting Photography
Appendix C. What is a Pixel?
Appendix D. Bit Depth
Appendix E. Exposure and the Digital Linear Effect
Appendix F. Digital Light Meters and the Zone System.
Appendix G. A Primer on Basic Film Photography
Appendix H. Films, Developers, and Processing
Appendix I. The Practical Zone System Film and Developer Testing Method
Appendix J. Film and Developer Commentary by Iris Davis
Appendix K. Alternative Methods for Extreme Expansion and Contraction Development
Appendix L. Contrast Control with Paper Grades
Appendix M. Developer Dilution
Appendix N. Compensating Developers
Appendix O. Inspection Development
Appendix P. Condenser and Diffusion Enlargers
Appendix Q. ASA/ISO Numbers
Appendix R. Filter Factors, the Reciprocity Effect, and Bellows Extension Factors
Appendix S. A Compensation Method for Inaccurate Meters
Appendix T. Zone System Metering Form
Appendix U. Exposure Record and Checklist for Zone System Testing
Appendix V. Examples: Zone System Applications
Appendix W. Suggested Reading
Appendix X. A Brief Directory of Online Digital and Photography-Related Resources
Appendix Y. A Brief Glossary of Zone System and Digital Terminology.
Chris Johnson is a Professor of Photography at California College of the Arts. He is a photographic and video artist, curator and writer; his work has been exhibited in numerous gallery and museum shows. He is the creator of the Question Bridge video project and Co-Director with Hank Willis Thomas of Question Bridge: Black Males. This project won the 2015 ICP Infinity Award; was published as a book by Aperture, and the video installation has been inducted into the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.