Bruce Barnbaum – “Placing Shadows on Zone IV”

Posted on May 19, 2011


In a previous post, I talked about exposing for the zone system. Well that was part of the story. For B&W film, the rest of the story is that your development time actually has the biggest impact on expanding and contracting the zones of any control that you have. As I was researching another post I ran across this:

“More exposure, less development.” This is so true of what I’ve been learning this week. Dialing this in is the crucial next step.

I’ve always exposed my shadows in Zone V, but that is because I never tested my film speed. My ASA 400 acts like ASA 200 film, so it needs one more stop (Zone) of exposure to get the correct shadow density. Placing the 200 ASA shadows in  Zone V is equivalent to the true speed in Zone IV.

Posted in: Photography, Zones