Exercise 1.8: Zone System in practice

The purpose of this exercise was to produce three photographs taken in contrasting light conditions showing a high dynamic range and appropriate exposure choice.

In the photo on the left below I used the spot metering function on the camera to expose for the darker leaves on the tree, this has given an overexposed image. In the photo on the right I exposed for the lighter green shades on the tree and foreground.

 

 

 

 

 

In the three photos below the first image was exposed for the darker stones of the building, in image Number 2 exposing for sky has given a dark image overall while exposing for the dark shadows in image Number 3 has made the sky and building washed out.

 

 

 

Finally , in the following images I tried to capture the effect of sunlight passing through trees onto a stream.

 

 

 

Image Number 1 was exposed for the foliage and the bank and gives the best exposure range. Image Number 2 was exposed for the pool of sunlight shining on the stream in the centre of the picture, this has left the foliage too dark. In the bottom left corner of the first picture you can see a very bright reflection of sunlight, I wondered how the image would turn out if I just exposed for this – the answer can be seen in image Number 3 which is almost completely dark apart from the reflected sunlight in the bottom left.

 

Conclusions

I had heard of the zone system before but hadn’t really practiced using it so this was a really useful exercise. I don’t think that I have the exposures spot on in the images above and I certainly need plenty more practice. I read in the course notes about using HDR software to combine images to get the full range of exposures. I will investigate this further to see what I can learn.

 

EDIT

I have downloaded Luminance HDR which is a free HDR package. Still trying to learn what it does ans how to use it properly.

My first attempt is from the second set of photos above.