A

Adams, Ansel, ix, 2,100,108, 220,243, 285 Adobe Camera Raw advantage, 153-154 Adobe Color Engine (ACE), 176 Adobe Photoshop, 76,109,111,122,126, 129,180,181,250 Levels Command dialog box, 131,135-136, 137 Adobe RGB 1998,178,180 Agfa Rodinal developer, 98,202 Agitation, 262 function of, 205 rate of, 16,77,101,205 Alicino, Christine, 252-253 American Standards Association (now American National Standards Institute), 223, 264 Angle of incidence, 36 Aperture, 266 Aperture-priority meters, 74 Apple...

About the Development Time Charts

The development times provided below are the result of extensive tests done under carefully controlled conditions designed for accuracy and consistency and to avoid technical flaws such as reciprocity failure, lens flare, and so on. See Appendix F for a description of the process used to define these data and Appendix G for commentary by Iris Davis. Note For the technically minded, my test negatives were consistently printed at the minimum time that it took to render the film base plus fog...

An Overview of the Zone System

This chapter briefly summarizes the Zone System method of exposure and development and answers a number of questions usually asked by students at this point in the process. What we have learned is that when the contrast of the subject photographed is flat or con-trasty it is necessary to control the contrast of your negatives. Here are the general steps for producing consistently printable negatives 1. Previsualize your subject in terms of the finished print. This means that you should mentally...

Asa

By altering the size and composition of the silver grains in the emulsion, films can be made more or less sensitive to light. The more sensitive an emulsion is, the less light it takes to produce a given density. Very sensitive films are said to be faster than films that are less sensitive because they allow you to use a faster shutter speed in a given lighting situation. Films of various speeds are assigned numbers by the American Standards Association. These are called ASA numbers. The...

Basic Film Photography

This section is designed for students who need a brief review of basic photography to better understand some of the terms and concepts used throughout this book. In general, this chapter is a summary of those principles and techniques that relate to film exposure and development. Because the primer is intended to serve only as an aid to learning the Zone System, many important subjects aren't covered in detail. For a more comprehensive text on basic photography, I recommend the following books...

Bellows Extension Factors

To focus on an object very close to the lens, it is necessary to increase the distance between the lens and the film. This is important to know because if the film - lens distance becomes greater than the focal length of the lens, the f stop numbers become inaccurate. An interesting way to visualize why this happens is to imagine that you're inside a large camera that is focused on an object approaching the lens. If the lens is set at f 11, as the lens gets farther away from the film, the size...

C

Callier effect, 222 Calumet Exposure Calculator, 225 Camera histogram, 145,146 Cameras, 265 aperture of, 266-267 fully automatic, 4,75, 269-270 semi-automatic, 270 shutter of, 268 Canon EOS 20D, 111 Caponigro, Paul, 30 Cardinal rule, for digital photography, 113, 114,115,122,154,172 Center-weightedness, 72 Channels, 129 Chrome films, 70 Chromium intensifier, 214 Chromogenic films, 205 Cleanliness, 261 Clipping, 153,179 Cold lights, 222 Coleman,A. D., 234 Color balance, 174 Color channels,...

Christine Alicino

This portrait was done for Rolf Engle's 60th birthday so I was looking for an image of him that was stately, sensitive, and conveyed his dignity and creativity. What I love about working with lights in the studio is that I can control the technical aspects of the process so that I can concentrate on the mood and presence of the subject. This was especially important in this case because I was using Polaroid Type 55 film, which meant that the exposure and contrast needed to be perfect since...

D

Darkroom diary, 99 Dater, Judy, 254 Davis, Iris, 211-213 Dedicated film scanners, 122 Densitometer, 6,250 Density effect of development on, 14 film base plus fog, 23,100 highlight, 6-7,12,13 measurement of, 6 shadow, 6-7,13-16,75 Depth of field, 266 Detail, zones as, 20,23 Developer, 16,84,98-107,114,201, 202-203, 211-213, 260 Agfa Rodinal, 98, 202 compensating, 219 dilution of, 205 Edwal FG-7,102, 202 compensating, 219 dilution of, 218 fine-grain, 201 general-purpose, 202 Ilford Perceptol,...

David Bayles

This photograph was made with a view camera in the early 1970s, under the influence of reading John Cage and of wondering about randomness. I deliberately sought randomly organized objects as subjects among them scatterings of driftwood imbedded in wind-smoothed sand (see Figure 14, p. 21) and jumbles of fallen flowers and leaves. But by November, fallen leaves are drab. The negative was developed about N + 2 even so, there was a need for considerable burning of the darker values and some...

Dealing with Low Contrast Subjects

One of photography's more reliable truisms is that, in general, correcting the contrast of subjects with relatively low contrast is much easier than dealing with high-contrast situations. This is because, if properly exposed, all of the visual information in a flat scene will easily fit within printable dynamic range of both digital chips and films and papers. Your goal then is to increase the contrast of your image without pushing it too far. With film this is done by using the Zone System to...

Dedicated Film Scanners

These are ideal for producing high-quality scans of 35 mm film.You should always scan at no less than 4000 dpi and set the scale size to 100 .Anything more than these settings is interpolation. You can always redistribute the scanned pixels to end up with a larger image using the Photoshop Image Size command. The trick is to uncheck the Resample Image box as illustrated below. There are two types of larger format scanners, Flatbed and Professional Drum or Imacon scanners. Professional scanners...

Develop for the Highlights

The amount of time that you develop your film will determine the density of the negative's highlight areas and its overall contrast. Just as exposure has its main effect on the shadow areas of the negative, the film's development time will determine how white or gray the lighter areas of the print will eventually be. If you inadvertently over- or underdevelop your film, the highlight densities will be difficult or impossible to print well. If exposure and development didn't act independently on...

Documentary Photography Sites

Some Other Art-Related Photography Sites Society of Photographic Educators Features a gallery, essays, and interviews. www.lenswork.com A site for innovative creative projects. www.lightfactory.org William E. Strickland's center of art and community service. A gathering place for artists, creative projects, organizations and other cyber-cultural activities. www.nearbycafe.com A very sophisticated site of on-line cultural material. www.desires.com features footprint A very sophisticated site...

E

Edwal FG-7 developer, 102, 201,202, 218,219 EI (Exposure Index), 83, 223 8 bits per channel, 124,126,127 Electronic flash, Zone System and, 4,71, 73-74 Electronic imaging techniques, see Digital imagery Emulsions, 204, 258-259 Enlargers, 79,83,217,222,259 Expansion development, 18,96,214 extreme, 214-215, see also Normal Plus Development (N+) Exposing for highlights, digital exposure, 138-148 digital shadows problem, 142-144 exposing to right, 138-142 Exposure, 5,9,12,35,113-114, 263-264,...

Expansion and Contraction Development Times

The following formulas will give you a shortcut method of computing your Normal Plus and Normal Minus Development times. A pocket calculator will make these computations very simple. Notice that special procedures are necessary to achieve good results with Expansions or Contractions of more than N + 2 or N - 2. Refer to Appendix H for more information on extreme Expansion and Contraction development and the use of compensating developers. Note You will probably have to adjust the development...

Expose for the Shadows and Develop for the Highlights

Determine the correct development time for the negative by carefully metering the areas that you have previsualized as Zone VII (or Zone VIII depending on the subject matter). If this meter reading falls on the proper zone after the textured shadow has been placed on Zone III, give the film Normal Development. 5. If the meter reading for the Important Highlight Area falls above or below the previsualized zone, increase or decrease the film's development time according to how many zones away...

Exposing to the Right

The best way to minimize the effects of banding in digital images is to learn how to make accurate digital exposures that place your highlights as close as possible to where they should be on the right edge of the histogram. This is called Exposing for the Highlights and there are two reasons why this works.The first is fairly obvious. The second is more subtle but just as important and is discussed later in the section The Problem of Digital Shadows. Exposing for the highlights is a valuable...

Exposure Placement Demonstration with Polaroid Films

The advantage of doing this demonstration with your own materials is that it will give you an opportunity to test your ability to solve a simple exposure problem. On the other hand, the fastest way to see the result of this process is to work with any color Polaroid camera. With any Polaroid color camera, photograph a dark and a light wall. It is important that you fill the frame with each wall so that none of the surrounding area is included in the image. Also, to obscure any surface detail,...

Exposure Plan B for Sheet Film

Expose the sheets labeled 1-5 of sets A, B, C, and D as follows SHEET APERTURE SETTING 1 (A, B, C, D) Normal exposure at the film's standard ASA 1 (A, B, C, D) Normal exposure at the film's standard ASA One-half stop less exposure than sheet 1 One full stop less exposure than sheet 1 One-half stop more exposure than sheet 1 One full stop more exposure than sheet 1 Under column C, labeled ASA, list the equivalent ASA numbers for the exposures listed in columns A and B. Note Modern light meters...

Exposure Record and Checklist For Zone System Testing

Instructions for sheet film are enclosed in boxes. Check off each step as you proceed through the test. Paper (your normal grade and size) Draw your test subject above the Exposure Record. Meter your Zone II, III, V, VII, and VIII areas and fill in these values on your sketch. Enter your readings on the Exposure Record. Place the Important Shadow Area on Zone III. Does the Zone VII reading fall on Zone VII Set up camera. Put a Neutral Gray Card in the image area. Does the Neutral Gray Card...

Film and Developer Questions and Answers

Students and friends inevitably ask a number of general questions regarding film and developer combinations. The following are my answers to these questions. Keep in mind that these are very subjective responses based upon years of testing and working with these products. Other photographers may have different preferences that are appropriate for their work. Note The detailed explanations for these results can be found in Appendix E in the sections Developer Notes and Film Notes. Also see...

Film Photography

Langford Focal Press Technical Resource Books Basic Photographic Materials and Processes Stroebel, Compton, Current, Zakia Focal Press The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography Richard Zakia & Leslie Stroebel Focal Press On the Zone System Beyond the Zone System Phil Davis Focal Press The Zone System for 35mm Photographers A Basic Guide to Exposure Control Carson Graves Focal Press The Zone System Craftbook John Charles Woods Brown and Benchmark

Info

FIGURE 160 Enlarger, negative, and print. The overall tonality of a print can be made lighter or darker by increasing or decreasing the amount of light that exposes the paper. Selected areas of the print can be darkened by adding more light to those areas.This is called burning in. If you want to make a certain part of the print lighter, all you have to do is hold back the light in that area with your hand or a tool. This is called dodging. To distinguish between the light and dark areas of the...

Inspection Development

This classic technique allows you to examine the film for a few seconds while it is developing using a very dark green Kodak Safelight filter 3. The purpose is to give photographers an empirical method of determining when the negative's highlights are developed to the proper density. The film has to be at least two-thirds developed before you can safely turn on the light without danger of fogging the film. Read the directions that come with the filter very carefully. Developing by inspection...

Light Measurement

The first responsibility of any light meter is to simply measure the quantity of light reflected by the subject. Many light meters measure light using Exposure Values or EV numbers. As you saw in Figure 23, EV numbers provide a very simple and intuitive way to measure amounts of light the lighter the surface measured, the higher the number. We also learned that because EV numbers and zones both measure amounts of light that double as they increase, you can use one to represent the other. If one...

Linear vs Non Linear

Although the light meters built into digital and film cameras are essentially the same, the way these two processes record and respond to light is different in ways that are important to understand. One simple way to begin looking at this is to consider the graphic systems we use to record the relationship between exposures and print tonalities. In 1890 the photographic researchers Ferdinand Hurter and Vero Driffield published a seminal paper demonstrating what happened when you plotted...

Non Linearity Zones and Human Vision

Let's consider how this corresponds to the familiar Zone Scale and, more important, to the ways that we perceive light. What the characteristic curve shows is that there is less contrast in the darkest and lightest values than there is in the middle tones. This corresponds to the fact that when the light in a room is very dim it is hard for us to see the difference between various objects on the walls and floors. This is also true if the light is blindingly bright. It is only when a moderate or...

Normal Development

For every combination of film and developer, there is a certain development time that will produce negative contrast that is equal to the contrast of the scene that you are photographing. This is called Normal Development, which is symbolized by the letter N. If, for example, eleven minutes is the Normal Development time for your favorite film and developer, that will be true as long as you continue to use that combination and don't change any of the other variables that affect development...

Normal Minus Development

If the contrast of the scene you are photographing is too great (if, for example, you are shooting in a dark room with a sunlit window in the picture), you can compensate for that problem in the following way. First, as always, choose an exposure based on the amount of detail you want in the darker areas of the final print. Expose for the shadows. Second, use a development time that is less than your established Normal Development Time to reduce the density of the negative's highlight areas....

Normal Plus Development

If the contrast of the subject you are photographing is too flat (for example, a dark interior or a cloudy day) you should still expose for the shadows, but in this case, you should also increase the development time (above Normal Development) to increase the density of the negative's highlights. This effect is called Expansion, or Normal Plus Development, symbolized by N+. The resulting negative will have much more contrast than the original subject and will print as if the contrast of the...

Optimizing Digital Image Resolution

Pixel editing software makes it possible to radically alter many characteristics of digital images, which include the size and color of pixels and your image's contrast and sharpness along with many other qualities. But in this sense, bit depth and resolution can be considered Core Digital Values because the only time it's possible to establish these qualities is when the image is captured, either by a digital camera or a scanner. This is because bit depth and resolution are functions of the...

Optimizing your Scan

Scanner types fall into categories defined by the material they are designed to digitize and the level of quality they can produce. It is also vital to understand the difference between the actual optical resolution capabilities of a scanner and the amount of information it can literally see, as opposed to the virtual or advertised resolution of the scanner, or the amount of information it can fake through interpolation. Once again, always use a scanner's optical resolution as your standard....

Overdevelopment

If a negative is overdeveloped, either from being developed for too long or in a developing solution that was too concentrated or too hot, or from being agitated too aggressively, the highlight areas will be too dense. Because these densities are relatively opaque, the corresponding light areas of the print will be too white or blocked up. Burning in these areas when you make a print will make them darker, but it cannot replace the lost texture and detail. Note Although there are no films or...

P

Panchromatic viewing filter, 46 Paper, photographic, 6-8, 79, 84, 265 choosing, 79 contrast of, 101,216 Paper, photographic (cont) fiber-based, 264 graded, 265 modern papers, procrustean bed of, 7-8 resin-coated (RC), 79,264 variable-contrast (polycontrast), 79, 265 PCs, 111,181 Personal working ASA (exposure index), 83 Photo Lab Index, The, 202 Photographer's Formulary, 214, 219 Photography (London and Upton), 230 Photoshop, see Adobe Photoshop Piaget, Jean, 124 Picker, Fred, 69 Pixels,...

Paper Grades

Photographic printing papers are available in a wide variety of textures, thicknesses, and tonalities. Resin-coated (RC) papers require much less washing and dry more quickly than fiber-based papers. Fiber-based papers are generally preferred for exhibition-quality printing because they are more archival. There are a number of excellent, exhibition-quality papers currently on the market. These include Ilford Galerie, Ilford Multigrade, and Bergger Prestige Fine Art Supreme. Single-weight papers...

Place and Fall

The concept of zone placement is extremely important in Zone System theory because it describes the process that will ultimately determine your exposure. In any photographic subject, you will always find some dark area that in your opinion absolutely needs adequate texture and detail. This part of your image is called the Important Shadow Area.After you have identified the Important Shadow Area, your goal in most cases will be to choose an exposure that will render that area as Zone III in the...

Q Can the Zone System be used with color film

A In general the answer is yes, and in many ways certain inherent characteristics and limitations of color films make the Zone System an even more important tool. The rules of exposure apply as much to color film as they do to black-and-white film. On the other hand, color materials present you with special problems of which you should be aware. First, the range of subject contrast that can be recorded on color reversal films (otherwise known as chrome, transparency, or slide films) is...

Q The procedure you have described is fine for situations where there is plenty of time to take careful readings What

A In all of the previous examples, I have included meter readings for all the important areas of the subject in order to make the process more clear. Practically speaking, there are only two meter readings that you absolutely must make. You need one reading of the Important Shadow Area to calculate the exposure (at this point, you can take the picture) and one reading of the Important Highlight Area to determine the proper development time. You will need to write this down so you will know how...

Scanners

Scanner manufacturers represent the fixed, optical resolution of their products with two numbers 1200 x 2400 dpi for example. In this case 1200 would be the number of sensors that are positioned horizontally in the scanner head and 2400 would be the number of steps the carriage motor can take as it travels one inch down the film or document being scanned. When they claim that their scanner has a maximum resolution of 9600 dpi they are describing the amount of information the scanner software...

Screen Pixels

On the surface of a computer monitor, a pixel is a fixed and rigid physical entity that can never change size. The resolution of monitors is set to values like 72 or 96 pixels per inch and that always remains the same. But keep in mind that these monitor pixels are only the tiny dots that create the image pixels you see on the screen. When the screen is displaying a digital image, these screen pixels are used to create image pixels that can be almost any size. For example, when one of these...

Standard Printing Time Test Step

To determine the minimum time it takes to achieve the maximum black, perform the standard printing time (SPT) test as follows 1. Using one of your test exposures, focus your enlarger at the printing size that is normal for your work. 2. Place the blank sheet of film in the negative carrier so the unexposed film covers one-half of the opening. To do this with roll film, you must cut the blank frame in half. Your negative carrier should look like this 3. Put the negative carrier in the enlarger...

Step

Carefully meter all the important shadow, middle, and highlight areas of the house, and write the meter numbers on the sketch (Figure 64). Try to record as many numbers as you can. You will have to check these readings often throughout this test to make sure they don't change. Again, make sure your subject has prominent areas of Zones II, III, V, and VII (and Zone VIII if possible). FIGURE 64 Step 2 - Sketch with EV meter readings. FIGURE 64 Step 2 - Sketch with EV meter readings.

Subject Contrast and Photographic Papers

It is easy to visualize how dramatically the contrast of photographic subjects can vary from one situation to another. Imagine the difference between photographing a dark tree surrounded by * These densities can be measured with an instrument called a densitometer. The Procrustean Bed of Modern Photographic Papers 7 brightly lit snow on one day and then shooting a portrait of a blond woman wearing a light dress on a beach when it's cloudy. The relative contrast of a given scene depends on how...

Summary

After you have chosen your optimum, normal paper grade, learning how to control the contrast of your negatives is necessary because of the range of subject contrasts photographers have to cope with. 2. Until you learn how to adapt your methods of exposure and development to suit a variety of lighting situations, you will only produce easily printable negatives when the contrast of your subject happens to be average. Understanding this fact is the first key to becoming a better photographer. 3....

Texture and Detail

In a fine print, each zone has a different amount of texture and detail. There are three types of zones a. Zones that have no texture and detail that are used to represent extremely dark or pure white objects in a photograph (Zones 0, I, and IX) b. Zones that have a limited amount of texture and detail that are used to represent very dark or light objects that are slightly textured (Zones II and VIII) and c. Zones with full texture and detail that make up the greater part of most photographs...

The Camera

Essentially, any camera is simply a device that uses a lens to focus the light reflected by an object onto a piece of photographic film. It's very important to understand and remember that only a certain amount of this reflected light must be allowed to expose the film. When this is done properly, we say that the film has been given the correct exposure. The camera has two mechanisms that control the amount of light that's allowed to expose the film. The first is called the diaphragm. The...

The Meters Dilemma

Unfortunately, finding the correct exposure isn't always that simple. The problem is that light meters have no way of actually seeing the objects they measure. An exposure meter is simply a device that measures quantities of light and the problem is that both a light surface and a dark surface will reflect the same amount of light if the light falling on them is changed. On a bright, sunny day a dark wall might read meter number 11, but so might a light wall on a cloudy day To your eye, the...

The Practical Zone System Film Developer Testing Method

Many years ago as I was learning the Zone System I went through the frustrating process of designing home film and developer testing methods that attempted to reproduce the procedures I read about in articles and technical books. This included building handmade densitometers out of wooden index card boxes and setting up lights in my musty basement none of these approaches were either simple enough or precise enough to teach me what I wanted to know or how all of this applied to the photography...

The Reciprocity Effect

Ordinarily, f stops and shutter speeds have an equal effect on exposure. Changing the f stop from f 8 to f 11 is equivalent to changing the shutter speed from 1 60 to 1 125 of a second. In either case, the exposure is one stop less. This is because f stops and shutter speeds are calibrated to be equivalent, or reciprocal. Unfortunately, this is true only within a certain range of exposure times (camera shutter speeds). If your exposure is longer than 1 2 of a second or shorter than 1 1000 of a...

The Results

What this demonstration shows is that the camera's built-in meter is programmed to render any single subject value as an average middle gray tone, or Zone V, regardless of how dark or light it may actually be. With a few exceptions I will discuss later, all light meters are designed the same way. What you should have learned from this demonstration is that if you were always to follow the meter's recommendations, it would be a classic case of the blind leading the blind You see the wall as a...

The RIP Solution

The procedures and principles I've described in the preceding sections are vital for all digital photographers to know and understand but I must admit that, in real life, I base my digital printing workflow on an expensive but extremely effective alternative called a Raster Image Processor (RIP). There are a number of these on the market but I use the ImagePrint RIP produced by Colorbyte. A RIP completely replaces the color management systems built into the Photoshop Print w Preview box and the...

The Scanning Process

In Figure 77 my intention is to make an 11.4 x 17 inch ink jet print of this image, but we will use this scanning illustration to learn what's involved with creating optimal scans for a variety of different uses. 1. Bit Depth. Notice that I have set the bit depth to 48 Bit Color. Note The number 48 means that each of the three color channels Red, Green, and Blue will contain 16 bits of visual information. 16 x 3 48. More on this later. This setting will create a digital file with the highest...

The Shutter

The second mechanism that the camera uses to control the amount of light that exposes the film is called the shutter. The shutter is a device that determines how long the film is exposed to the light that passes through the aperture. The longer the shutter is open, the greater the exposure. The shutter is controlled by setting the shutter speed dial. Typical shutter speeds are 1 60,1 30, 1 15, and 1 8. These numbers represent fractions of a second. Therefore, 1 60 of a second is less time than...

The Two Layer Technique

The following is an example of an image with a dynamic range of 10 stops of dynamic range from the mask, which is Previsualized as Zone II, to the wings that I want to be Zone VIII. This is clearly far beyond the range of contrast that can be controlled using normal digital processing techniques. FIGURE 117 Very high contrast digital image. FIGURE 117 Very high contrast digital image. Here are the steps required to combine two very different exposures of this still life into one image with both...

The Use of Equivalent ASA Numbers

Testing Method 1 is designed to allow you to test your film at a wide range of ASA numbers on the same roll or box of film. In this way, you will determine which ASA is best for your purposes. To do this, you are going to bracket your exposures on each roll according to a predetermined plan. The principle that governs this process is very simple. Bracketing your exposures is the same as changing the ASA on your meter. Consider this demonstration 1. Set your light meter to ASA 400 and place...

The Zone

The key element of the Zone System is a visual ruler that allows photographers to visualize and actually measure the difference between normal-, low-, and high-contrast subjects. This is called the Zone Scale. Ideally, the tonal values in a photograph should logically represent the light and dark values we see in the world around us. When we photograph a dark wooden wall, for example, our expectation is that the resulting print will have the tonality and detail of dark wood. The visual unit...

The Zone System and Digital Contrast Control

In Chapter 2, I used the myth of the ancient diabolical innkeeper Procrustes as an analogy for how the Zone System allows you to modify the contrast of your negatives so that they print well on the grade of photographic paper that you prefer for your work. The myth tells the story of how Procrustes would either stretch his unwitting shorter clients on a rack until they were long enough for his bed, or chop off their legs if they were too tall. This is similar to the way that the Zone System...

The Zones

It is the blackest black that the photographic paper can produce. Zone 0 has no texture or detail and appears as the most transparent areas of the negative. Because of the slight color added to the film base by the manufacturer to prevent halation and the chemical fog resulting from development, this density is sometimes referred to as film base plus fog. ZONE I is also completely without texture and detail. A glance around you will reveal many areas that should...

Two Bath Compensating Formula

The Two-Bath method was made popular by Ansel Adams for extreme Contractions. It utilizes Kodak's D-23 formula listed above as part A, and the following formula as part B. Two-Bath Formula Part B The working temperature is 68 degrees. The procedure for using this Two-Bath formula is as follows 1. Agitate the film continuously for four minutes in part A (D-23). 2. Move your film to part B and let it rest there, without agitation, for three minutes. The result of the Two-Bath method should be...

Underexposure

The simplest way to define a good exposure is to say that it means choosing a combination of f stop and shutter speed that will allow the right amount of light to expose the film. It is important to understand that if the film receives less than this optimum amount of exposure, the negative will be too thin in the areas that correspond to the darker parts of the subject. What makes proper exposure so crucial is that the only time your film can record visual information in the darker shadow...

Virtual Magazines and Journals

An online photography bookstore. www.photoeye.com A bi-monthly guide to local, national, and international exhibitions. www.photography-guide.com A journal, gallery, and photography-related newsletter www.photoreview.org Online magazine of photography. Sightphoto.com photo.html

Working with Problem Negatives

Let's consider the four basic problems that photographers encounter when trying to make a good print from a negative that has been improperly exposed and developed. As you will see, these four problems fall into two categories Overexposure and Underdevelopment are serious problems that are more or less correctable in the printing process. Underexposure and Overdevelopment, on the other hand, are essentially fatal negative flaws that are uncorrectable. One great advantage of the Zone System is...

Measuring Subject Contrast with InCamera Meters

The principles you have just learned apply as much to in-camera meters as any other type, but the above examples may have been confusing because in-camera meters don't use meter numbers like those used in my illustrations. Instead of using EV numbers, an in-camera meter translates its readings of the Important Shadow and Highlight areas directly into recommended f stop and shutter speed combinations. Let's briefly review how this works. In-camera light meters have various ways of telling you...

Q I can understand how the Zone System would be easy to use with a view camera where each frame is developed

A The process for using in-camera light meters along with the Zone Metering Form that I outlined in Chapter 6 makes applying the Zone System to roll-film cameras relatively simple. But, now that you are aware of the relationship between the contrast of your subject and the negative's development time, you will find yourself automatically adapting your shooting methods to ensure that the roll for each subject is developed properly. The problem most photographers have is that they are unaware...

Q What problems will I encounter if I cant use a spot meter

A As you have seen in the previous chapters, a spot meter's ability to read small, isolated areas from a distance makes it the perfect tool for using the Zone System. On the other hand, you can achieve reliable results from any meter if you know how to use it properly. A wide-angle meter will give you an accurate reading of any area if you get close enough to the metered area and are careful not to include unwanted objects in the meter's field of view. A built-in meter, aside from being...

Q What role do ASAs play in applying the Zone System to my photography

A Most photographers think of ASA as simply a rating of a given film's sensitivity. This is true as far as it goes, but there is more to it than that. Earlier I said that ASA numbers can be related to f stops and shutter speeds in the following way As the ASA number gets smaller, the amount of exposure needed increases. Keeping in mind that the amount of exposure determines the negative's shadow density, we can state the above rule in another way The lower the ASA number you use for a given...

Q What is the highest film speed that renders a fully detailed Zone III and a Zone II that is black with texture

A Film manufacturers must necessarily use consistent and scientifically objective criteria for determining the ratings of their films. Photographers, on the other hand, need ASA ratings that they can count on to give them the amount of shadow detail they visualize when considering a given subject. This is a very subjective evaluation and will vary somewhat depending on the kind of work you do and other variables such as the paper grades you like, and so on. The standard we have used for these...

Q What is the minimum development time that renders a fully textured Zone VII and a Zone VIII that is white with some

A The Normal Development Times recommended by film and developer manufacturers are based on scientific standards such as developed to a contrast index of 0.56. Anyone so inclined will discover that there are very rational reasons for doing it this way, but all that most photographers need to know is that a given development time will give them negatives with printable highlights. It is always best to work with minimum times to avoid highlights that are blocked up. Higher than normal grades of...

Word about Structure and Understanding

This chapter has two related objectives. The first is to provide readers with a clear and simple method for obtaining the best possible quality in their photographs. The second goal is to provide a broad understanding of the basic technical concepts that underlie digital image processing. These two goals might seem to be the same but they really aren't. If what you are looking for is a general understanding of digital exposure and contrast control so you can get better results, this text is...

Digital Camera Choices

The digital camera I used for the examples in this chapter is the Nikon D70, one of the first DSLRs to provide both professional-level features and quality at a consumer-oriented price. There are many other digital cameras that fall into this category, most notably the Canon EOS 20D but, once again, all of the principles I cite apply in very similar ways to cameras in this price and feature range. In general, point-and-shoot type cameras aren't capable of producing images that will work with...

The Quality of Digital Images

It's always a little ironic when someone looks at a fine digital print and says that it looks just like a real photograph. But of course what this really means is that the technology is doing exactly what it hopes to do that is, translate a purely electronic digital file into what appears to be a full-fledged, continuous tone photographic image. In purely technical, and very general terms, most digital photographers would agree that Figure 71 is an example of a high quality image and Figure 72...

Digital Exposing for the Highlights

It should now be clear that there are important technical advantages to properly exposing digital image files, but using the Zone System with 35 mm cameras always requires some extra efforts. With roll-film cameras the problem always is how to apply individual contrast control to frames that must be developed together. That isn't a problem with digital 35 mm frames, but there is still the issue of metering selected areas with built-in light meters. Since it's so easy to preview digital...

Custom Camera Profiles

With professional-level digital cameras, it's possible to use the manufacturer's software to apply special profiles to your images that internally modify the contrast of each photograph as you shoot. These profiles have the effect of either increasing or decreasing the image's contrast in subtle and non-destructive ways. You can even use special software to create custom profiles that you can upload into your camera for use in unusually flat or contrasty situations. The problem with using these...

Dealing with High Contrast Subjects

Because of the limited dynamic range of current digital photo sensors, there are more special techniques and proposed software solutions to the problem of dealing with high-contrast subjects than almost any other issue in digital photography. One very useful feature in this regard is Adobe Camera Raw's Highlight Recovery feature that is specifically designed to pull any detail that there may be in what otherwise appear to be totally clipped highlights. For this feature to work, your highlight...

Films Developers and Processing

Despite what advertising may suggest, no film or developer is ideal for every use. Developers and films all have very specific qualities that are best suited to particular applications.Your goal should be to define the kind of photography that you intend to do and decide on the appropriate materials. As you begin this process it's easy to feel that you may never learn enough about all of the various developers and films available and their effects. There is in fact a much more direct and...

Condenser and Diffusion Enlargers

The function of an enlarging light source is to provide enough light to cast the shadow of the negative onto the printing paper. Condenser and diffusion enlargers differ in terms of the quantity and the quality of the light they present to the negative. The light from a condenser enlarger is usually provided by a tungsten bulb. The light from this bulb is focused on the negative through a series of large lenses called condensers. This focused light strikes the film in very straight, or...

Examples Zone System Applications

The idea for this appendix was inspired by my favorite Ansel Adams' book, Examples The Making of 40 Photographs. In this classic, Ansel describes in great detail, and with thoughtful autobiographical comments, how he created many of his greatest images. His book allows one to begin to understand the complexities of his creative process and the role the Zone System played in making his photography masterful. Contrary to some misconceptions, the Zone System is an extremely versatile tool with...

Zone System

A Simple Guide to Photographic Control Amsterdam Boston Heidelberg London New York Oxford Paris San Diego San Francisco Singapore Sydney Tokyo Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier Acquisitions Editor Diane Heppner Project Manager Paul Gottehrer Assistant Editor Stephanie Barrett Marketing Manager Christine Degon Veroulis Cover Design Alisa Andreola Interior Design Alisa Andreola Typesetter Charon Tec Ltd (A Macmillan Company), Chennai, India www.charontec.com Focal Press is an imprint of...

Zone System and Digital Terminology

Acutance The term used to describe the degree to which a negative renders a sharp distinction between adjacent print tones. Acutance is related to negative contrast and shouldn't be confused with image sharpness or resolution. Dilute developers and long development times will increase acutance. Banding In a digital image, banding appears as distinct tonal steps where there should be a smooth continuous gradation. This is generally considered to be a problem that is caused by the loss of pixel...

Chris Johnson

June in Sevres was taken in a small town outside of Paris with an Olympus XA 35 mm camera using Kodacolor II film normally rated at ASA 100.1 previsualized this as a rich, somber image with saturated color and June's back as a bright, pure form against the dark grass. The XA is an aperture-preferred automatic camera, and its recommended exposure would have shown detail throughout the image. To bracket exposures with automatic cameras, it is necessary to bypass the meter's preference by changing...

Choosing a Photographic Paper

Although paper grade or variable contrast filter 2 is standard for Normal contrast negatives, experienced photographers know that every brand and grade of paper has unique characteristics. One of the objects of Zone System testing is to match the contrast of your negatives to your favorite type and grade of printing paper. Having standardized your normal printing, you can use the higher and lower paper grades when extreme Expansions or Contractions are required to compensate for very low or...

The Limits of Digital Photography

Digital and film photography share one common goal to capture as much subject information as possible so that it's available to work with when you make your finished print. In film, severe underexposure results in shadow detail that's lost in clear, empty areas of film. Extreme overdevelopment creates highlight film densities that are opaque and print as empty pure white areas. Similar problems exist in the world of digital photography, but the causes and terms we use to describe them are...

The Adobe Camera Raw Advantage

The process of converting a digital image from its latent state, as it exists after exposure on your camera's storage media, to the edited version in Photoshop is extremely complex and a detailed discussion of this process is beyond the range of this book. (See Appendix S for reference to a book that will fully explain the details of working with images in Adobe Camera Raw.) But it's important to have at least a general idea of what happens at this stage so you can make informed decisions about...

Contents

Preface to the Fourth Edition How to Read this Chapter 1 Will It Come Out Introduction Chapter 2 Print Quality and Negative Contrast 6 Subject Contrast and Photographic Papers 6 The Procrustean Bed of Modern Photographic Papers 7 Working with Problem Summary Chapter 3 The Control of Negative Contrast 13 Expose for the Shadows Develop for the Normal Summary Chapter 4 The Print Values Texture and Detail The Zones Previsuali'zation Measuring Zones Summary Chapter 5 Exposure Light Measurement...

Color Managing Your System

Applying color management to your system only requires understanding three basic concepts. First, you need to choose the appropriate color space for the kind of images you plan to create. For the majority of digital photographers this is a very simple decision If you are primarily planning to display your images on the Web, choose sRGB as your working color space. If you plan to make fine ink jet prints from your digital files choose either Adobe 1998 or ProPhoto RGB. In practice the difference...

Q How does the Zone System apply to the use of electronic flash

A In general, the correct exposure with electronic-flash units is calculated by carefully measuring the camera-to-subject distance with the range-finder on the lens and using this to select the proper f stop with the exposure dial on the flash. You must use the shutter speed that is synchronized with your flash, usually 1 60 or 1 125 of a second (check your owner's manual). As noted in an earlier chapter, with modern electronic-flash units, the exposure is determined by a thyristor circuit that...

Developer Notes

In Memoriam One very unfortunate consequence of the digital revolution is the passing of one of my favorite developers, Agfa's Rodinal. Rodinal was actually the oldest commercially produced developer in the world and the developer of choice for photographers looking for the sharpest grain and most film speed and contrast when shooting at night. T-Max developer at 75 degrees is a good alternative for pushing films. The venerable Rodinal will be greatly missed. KODAK XTOL is a powder that comes...

Digital and Film Photography Similarities and Differences

The basic photographic principles relating to apertures, depth of field, shutter speeds, and metering, etc., are essentially the same as film-based photography when you're working with professional digital SLR cameras. This means that photographers beginning to make the transition to digital imaging don't have to relearn what they already know about basic photography and that's reassuring. But, as we will see, the fact that these basic photographic principles are being applied to digital media...

Zone System Testing Method

The ever-increasing dominance of digital photography isn't the only unsettling development that photographers have had to cope with in recent years. Until not very long ago film photographers could count on the stability and consistent quality of products from three of the West's most venerable names Kodak, Ilford, and Agfa. As of this writing, all three of these companies have undergone major reorganizations and have either discontinued or modified many of the products that were once the...

Water Bath Development

This technique was designed to dramatically reduce negative contrast with a minimal loss of shadow detail. It works best with sheet films because it assumes that there will be enough developer saturated into the shadow areas of the emulsion to allow them to continue developing after the highlight areas have exhausted their developer. It should be noted that, in an effort to improve sharpness and reduce grain, film manufacturers have reduced the thickness of most modern 35 mm film emulsions to a...

Q How can I override my cameras automatic metering system

A As we discussed earlier, most built-in light meters are designed to operate automatically, which means that when you adjust one of the exposure controls, the meter will internally adjust the other to maintain its recommended Zone V exposure. There are two types of built-in meters. Aperture-priority meters allow you to choose the aperture you prefer and the meter will adjust the shutter speed. Shutter-priority meters allow you to choose the shutter speed you prefer, and the meter will adjust...

The Procrustean Bed of Modern Photographic Papers

In ancient Greece there was a myth about a diabolical innkeeper named Procrustes who offered passing strangers an invitation to spend the night on his special iron bed which he claimed would magically fit all who slept on it. What he didn't reveal is that to enforce his one size fits all policy, he would either stretch unsuspecting short visitors on a rack until they fit his bed, or cut off lengths of their legs if they happened to be too tall. Historic photographic papers could generously...

Summary of Digital Photography Cardinal Rules

This chapter contains many principles suggested techniques and working methods that together will help you produce better photographs with your digital camera. The reason I highlighted the following five Cardinal Rules is because they are easily overlooked and, if you did nothing else, these recommendations will greatly improve the quality of your work. Always use the lowest ISO possible with digital cameras. The ability to change ISO settings from one frame to the next is an important...

Pixels Size Quality Resolution and Bit Depth

The representational power of digital photography begins with individual picture elements called pixels. If you enlarge any digital image enough you will see that the apparently continuous tonalities of the image are actually created from these tiny individual image tiles. And yet, despite how familiar we are with the general idea of pixels, there is still a lot of confusion about what they actually are. There are three essential things you need to understand about pixels and each of these has...

Q Will digital photography make the Zone System obsolete

Digital imaging techniques have changed our approaches to photography in ways that we are just beginning to comprehend. For many years it has been possible to digitally manipulate images designed for reproduction with methods so convincing that our notions of photographic realism no longer have conventional meanings. As profound as these changes have been, they have had relatively little effect on photographers committed to the aesthetics of the classic fine print....

The Digital Linear Effect

The reason why all of this is important is because digital camera chips respond to light in a very simple and straightforward way that has important implications for digital photographers. We can say that the response of digital chips to light is linear and the following example illustrates what this means Imagine that Figure 146 is a digital light sensor that responds to light by filling up with photons until it reaches its capacity. As of this writing, digital sensors are able to record...

Processing

After a photographic emulsion has been exposed, it must be processed for the image to appear and remain stable. Processing means putting the emulsion through a series of chemical baths called developer, stop bath, and fixer. The chemistry and procedures are essentially the same for processing film and paper. The main difference is that film processing must be done in complete darkness to prevent the film from becoming fogged. Print processing can be done under a red-filtered light called a...

Color Spaces

Before we can move on to the practical steps for applying color management to your system, there is one other somewhat abstract concept we need to cover. As I mentioned above, computers interpret visual colors as numbers that they can manipulate to produce the effects we see on monitors and digital prints. To define and visualize the range of colors that different monitors and printers can render, color scientists devised a system that models these different spectrums of colors as if they...

Digital Image Sensor Pixels

The size of pixels on the surface of a digital image sensor inside of a camera is also rigidly fixed. In a 6 megapixel camera chip there are just over 6 million pixels on the chips surface and they can't change size. Digital chip pixels are organized like this These fixed sensor pixels store the visual information that computers use to create digital images. The amount of information recorded by a 6 megapixel sensor is enough to create an approximately 9 x 12 image that prints with 240 dots per...