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 dark value, the meter sees it as gray, and the meter's choice prevails. To consistently achieve the correct exposure for any subject, you need a way to tell the light meter how you want the walls to print. When you apply all that you have learned thus far, the method for doing this will seem very simple.

To demonstrate the Zone System method of exposure, imagine that Figure 29A is an actual subject that you are trying to photograph.

FIGURE 29A Normal print.

FIGURE 29B Zone placements of Figure 29A.

Place and Fall 43

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