Is the Ansel Adams zone system applicable to digital cameras?


(Joe Zink) #1

Are most people using HDR to get a wide range of tone values in their photos? Anybody trying the zone system, or does it even work with digital cameras?


(Joe Zink) #2

I’ve noticed that when I take pictures on cloudy days or in even lighting, my images tend to look a bit flat. I wonder if changing the exposure a bit (ref the zone system) would help make the images “pop” more. I’ve seen some Ansel Adams images that were taken of leaves, tree trunks, etc that show depth in what I assume to be this type of light, (and I realize that at least part of that is the way the negatives were developed), but I wonder if there are ways other than in camera HDR to gain depth when lighting conditions aren’t perfect. Any thoughts?


(Berckmans Peter) #3

If I want a bit more detail or depht I go a bit darker. I have read somewhere that digital you can not use the complete scale because the cameras are calibrated to go to 18procent grey. It is not an easy system to use.


(Russell Smith) #4

It depends on the sensor. I know with my camera (when in raw) I will shoot to the right but try to not clip anything on the white part. Then in post processing I will move everything to the left so I have the complete range from 0 to 255 roughly or all of the zones covered. There are exceptions to this but as a gp rule this is what I have done.