Chapter 1Zone System Background

The Zone System is a process for exposure, development, and printing created by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer. I’m not going to go into a complete discussion of the Zone System here. It would be impractical due to space considerations, and some of Adams’ concepts aren’t as relevant to digital as to film. For an in-depth discussion and explanation of the Zone System, Adams’ seminal trilogy The Camera, The Negative, and The Print are the books to read.

For those of you who already know about the Zone System, you may want to just quickly scan this chapter and then jump to chapter 2. But for those of you who are not familiar with the Zone System, these next few pages will provide a foundation to build on. Let’s get this ...

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