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Excellent Introduction To Zone System
on February 20, 1998
For those interested in a quick practical way to assimilate the famed "Zone System" method of exposure control this is an excellent start. Though some of the material is dated, this book is a quick way to start making pictures that work- it teaches you the 80% you need immediately - the rest you can learn later as your technique improves. Even if you do not process your own film, there is still value in studying this text. There are more complete treatments of this area - the Ansel Adams "Negative" and "Print" books as well as Phil Davis' "Beyond The Zone System" spring to mind. However, having read them all, I continue to recommend this little treasure by Picker as a great starting point. The reader should note that Picker is rather controversial in photographic circles because of his simplified approach to this topic. The purists argue that this books is, at best, incomplete (true) and, at worst, wrong (debatable). Like any work that tries to provide a practical application of something which is grounded in a pretty rich mathematical theory, the high priests of the discipline will always find legitimate fault with the text. However, the book is a lot more right than it is wrong, and a serious reading of this stuff is bound to make your pictures come out much better. In summary, it is concise, easy to approach, and a good start for the photographer who wants to develop a consistent approach to exposure control and image making.