Zone System for Digital Photography

Pintler Mountain Range, Montana

Here in Missoula, Montana, we are extremely fortunate to be enjoying an exhibit of original black and white prints by famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams at the Missoula Art Museum. There has been a very well attended series of free Saturday tours of the show by a variety of photographers in the area. However, there's no lecture this weekend (Thanksgiving holiday in the US). So I thought I would share a link I found that does an excellent job of outlining the basics of applying the Zone System (developed by Adams and Fred Archer in 1939) to color digital photography.

Landscape photographer Michael Frye has written an article for Outdoor Photographer magazine called "The Digital Zone System." In it Frye describes the basic concepts of the Zone System. Then he explains how to meter and expose a digital color photo to capture the most information possible. He concludes with a short explanation of controlling contrast using the Curves command, exposure blending, and HDR techniques. Take a look at this article and visit his web gallery for more stunning images.

Mule Ranch Vista, Montana