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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 12 Mar 2013 (Tuesday) 18:45
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How to Pre-Visualize like Ansel Adams

 
kf095
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Mar 15, 2013 09:18 |  #31

Which source (book, article) is easiest to learn about zone system ?
I was trying to read it once, but I need "for dummies" version to get it.


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chauncey
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Mar 15, 2013 09:46 as a reply to  @ kf095's post |  #32

Chauncey thats not true

Allen, I will submit to your knowledge of the subject. But I thought that I had read that he oftentimes altered them based upon the way he remembered the subject at a later date. ;)


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airfrogusmc
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Mar 15, 2013 10:18 |  #33

chauncey wrote in post #15717856 (external link)
Allen, I will submit to your knowledge of the subject. But I thought that I had read that he oftentimes altered them based upon the way he remembered the subject at a later date. ;)

Chauncey he would process negatives differently by using different development times but those time were based on pre determined processing times that were found by a series of tests using a densitometer that are very precise so if he need to expand the highlights one zone he would use an N+1 development time.Two zones N+2 normal would be what tested out to be the normal time. To much contrast of one zone N-1 but all of these normal N+1 N-1 are very, very precise even down to agitation and exact temp during processing. Without that consistency the system doesn't work consistently. So his times changed but all the normal negs were processed as close as humanly possible to the exact same way as are all the N+1, N+2, N-1 etc. The entire system is designed to take away variables so a photographer can get very consistent results that match to how the photographer pre visualize the scene.

The statement is very wrong "Adams never developed a negative the same way twice."

As I have pointed out, system wouldn't work if this were true.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Mar 15, 2013 10:26 |  #34

kf095 wrote in post #15717741 (external link)
Which source (book, article) is easiest to learn about zone system ?
I was trying to read it once, but I need "for dummies" version to get it.

The very best is Adams trilogy,

The Camera
The Negative
The Print

Also there are very good landscape photographers that gave workshops. I know Michael Johnson used to do an incredible workshop but I had already had two college courses of the Zone System under my belt when I took his workshop.

Give it a few seconds. The site loads slowly.
http://www.michaeljohn​sonphotography.com/ (external link)

Check out his show list and all the places that have his work in their permanent collections. There are so many great landscape photographers still doing amazing work with large format cameras using B&W film and the zone system.




  
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kf095
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Mar 15, 2013 12:18 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #35

Thank you for the info, airfrogusmc!


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grahamclarkphoto
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Mar 16, 2013 01:31 |  #36

kf095 wrote in post #15717741 (external link)
Which source (book, article) is easiest to learn about zone system ?
I was trying to read it once, but I need "for dummies" version to get it.

I think Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photographer is one of the best to learn some of this stuff with a more contemporary viewpoint and photographer!

Graham


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airfrogusmc
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Mar 16, 2013 11:37 |  #37

grahamclarkphoto wrote in post #15720456 (external link)
I think Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photographer is one of the best to learn some of this stuff with a more contemporary viewpoint and photographer!

Graham

I'm not such big a fan of his work. ;) Its all pretty but I think it lacks real soul in my opinion but as you can see on POTN and other digital forums he has many disciples. Gotta love the rocks in the foreground long exposure with water rushing around get'n all misty and the sun setting and over saturated to boot.. Can't swing a dead cat and not hit one of those done by just about everybody now 'days. Him and Peter Lik are one in the same aren't they? Sorry just not a big fan. BTW I'm not a Kinkade fan either.




  
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chauncey
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Mar 16, 2013 12:28 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #38

soul

Soul...soul...if you could define that concept or at least link to an image that has "soul" so I might compare your defination to mine.
The only "soul" that I've ever seen comes from my child's eyes. ;)


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Mar 16, 2013 17:08 |  #39

I really enjoyed your link. A long time Zone and Ansel enthusiast. Read the 3 books. The Ansel exhibit about 4 years in Toronto was wonderful. In the day I built a 4 by 5 field camera kit by Bender and dabbled the system for years. When I went digital I sold off all my film stuff including 35mm for dirt cheap. I just noticed this at B&H the other day. I had two and this is very depressing. It is just easier to sell of stuff as a package.

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airfrogusmc
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Mar 16, 2013 19:06 |  #40

chauncey wrote in post #15721488 (external link)
Soul...soul...if you could define that concept or at least link to an image that has "soul" so I might compare your defination to mine.
The only "soul" that I've ever seen comes from my child's eyes. ;)

And that childs eye is what missing in my opinion ;)




  
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romanv
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Mar 16, 2013 21:28 |  #41

I dont understand why people cling to the methodology of a photographer from so long ago, when the technology was so limited; He no doubt made the best of his equipment available, this doesnt mean it's at all relevant to today.

What do you think he would do today, if he had today's technology to work with?

ETTR I'd imagine and some wizardry in post.

It's like reading a guide for how to ride a horse, to improve driving your car.




  
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Mar 16, 2013 22:03 |  #42

Maybe a technology that is limited but when we attended a show of his work in Toronto I can tell you this. We walked up to a huge original print of Moonrise - Hernandez. We asked one of the workers if they would take a cheque. They told us that print was priceless. When you get to that level let us know.

http://www.artnet.com …ise-hernandez-8-31-11.asp (external link)


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airfrogusmc
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Mar 16, 2013 23:02 |  #43

romanv wrote in post #15722928 (external link)
I dont understand why people cling to the methodology of a photographer from so long ago, when the technology was so limited; He no doubt made the best of his equipment available, this doesnt mean it's at all relevant to today.

What do you think he would do today, if he had today's technology to work with?

ETTR I'd imagine and some wizardry in post.

It's like reading a guide for how to ride a horse, to improve driving your car.

There is nothing in the digital world that can touch that large format zone system limited technology when it comes to B&W.




  
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romanv
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Mar 17, 2013 00:39 |  #44

digital paradise wrote in post #15723020 (external link)
Maybe a technology that is limited but when we attended a show of his work in Toronto I can tell you this. We walked up to a huge original print of Moonrise - Hernandez. We asked one of the workers if they would take a cheque. They told us that print was priceless. When you get to that level let us know.

Taking some inspiration from his composition: yes.
Taking some inspiriation from how he invokes emotion in a picture: yes
Thinking that using an ancient metering method with the thought that it's a stepping stone to greatness: I'm sure he would facepalm at the thought.

Did he place artificial constraints on himself by using a camera system that's 40 years older than what was available? Or did he try use the best of what was available to him at the time?

airfrogusmc wrote in post #15723188 (external link)
There is nothing in the digital world that can touch that large format zone system limited technology when it comes to B&W.

Yep fair enough, if you're still shooting B&W large format film, then I can see how following his methodology is still relevant.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Mar 17, 2013 00:53 |  #45

romanv wrote in post #15723382 (external link)
Taking some inspiration from his composition: yes.
Taking some inspiriation from how he invokes emotion in a picture: yes
Thinking that using an ancient metering method with the thought that it's a stepping stone to greatness: I'm sure he would facepalm at the thought.

Did he place artificial constraints on himself by using a camera system that's 40 years older than what was available? Or did he try use the best of what was available to him at the time?

Yep fair enough, if you're still shooting B&W large format film, then I can see how following his methodology is still relevant.


You really don't understand the zone system and how much control that and a view camera gives a photographer. It puts total control of a photographers vision in his/her hands. Total exposure and processing control and complete perspective control with the camera . Many zone system photographer referred to color as a barbaric process. The reason is with the zone system a photographer can make the scene look exactly like the photographer sees it in his imagination. Those controls are in part done by changing negative development times. When you start playing with times and temps with color film you start getting uncorrectable color shifts. That mean you are kinda stuck with reality instead of an artistic interpretation.




  
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How to Pre-Visualize like Ansel Adams
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