The Zones

NPhoto - - The Zone System -

Adams and Archer’s orig­i­nal Zone Sys­tem had 11 zones, num­bered from zero through to ten, but with dig­i­tal cam­eras we are mostly con­cerned with zones three to seven. Look­ing at the chart be­low left, start in the mid­dle at Zone 5. This rep­re­sents a mid-tone in the scene. Any­thing one stop darker than this would ren­der as Zone 4, two stops darker Zone 3, and so on. Any­thing one stop lighter is Zone 6, two stops lighter Zone 7, and so on. Any­thing at Zone 2 — three stops be­low mid­dle — is too dark to show de­tail, while Zone 3, although dark, has de­tail. Any­thing at Zone 8 — three stops above mid­dle — is too light to show good de­tail, while Zone 7, although light, has de­tail.

For colour pho­to­graphs you must con­sider colour, not just de­tail. A light colour will lose sat­u­ra­tion be­yond Zone 6. Although it will still have de­tail at Zone 7, the colour will be pale. And a dark colour can’t go be­low Zone 4 with­out be­com­ing muddy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.