Zone System : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I'd like to attend a Zone System workshop this summer and was wondering if anyone knew of a good one. I live in the southeast (North Carolina) but I'm willing to travel to attend a good workshop.


-- Eddie Sutton (, May 03, 2001


Look into Maine Photographic Workshops (, Santa Fe Workshops ( are to name a few. You can find more in Photo Techniques magazine as well as others. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, May 03, 2001.

Read Ansel Adams' The Negative. Experiment on your own following his advise. Save your money for film and paper.

-- ricardo (, May 03, 2001.

I originally followed Ricardo's advice and read The Negative at least a dozen times. I had practiced the zone system for a couple of years and then I attended an Ansel Adams Workshop. I thought that they would be impressed with my mastery of technique. One of the first comments made when I was showing my photos there was "I would benefit a great deal IF I learned the zone system". At the end of that week, I knew what the zone system was about. Reading about it without feedback is difficult. I would reccomend Al Weber, 145 Boyd Way, Carmel, CA 93923 for a workshop. He taught at the Ansel Adams Workshop longer than any living person and you will come away with a much different look at technique than you ever thought possible. Write me if you want his email address.

-- Jeff White (, May 03, 2001.

Also check Howard Bond's workshop:

Less pricey than some of the others, and Howard is an excellent teacher.

-- Chris Ellinger (, May 04, 2001.

Make sure whichever workshop you attend offers field work as well as darkroom work. Bruce Barnbaum offers both in one workshop. The zone system is a system that needs to be taught and learned both in the field and in the darkroom. It's hard to learn the system without exposing film and taking it into the darkroom, learning to process the film properly and printing the neg so you see what you are doing. Just watching someone else isn't the same thing. James

-- james (, May 05, 2001.

The zone system is great! It does take a while to master, however. I don't think anyone can obtain a solid *working* foundation in a short, one-week (or weekend) workshop. I'd recommend a several-week long class, where you can explore one particular film in detail, with respect to exposure, development, film curves, and the translation of these into printing. And then practice practice practice until you have an intuitive mastery of your materials. Its worth it. There's a beautiful ryhthm to working this way, because your creative vision will assume an intimate relationship with your technical mastery. Make sure your workshop has a good mix of lecture/field/darkroom time, so your knowledge base is built in a thorough fashion.

If you have the time, New England School of Photography in Boston offers a 10-week course this summer with LOTS of lab time available.

Best of luck!


-- Chris Jordan (, May 22, 2001.

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