I guess all of you knowing the Master of Landscapes: Ansel Adams
(February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984). He was one of the highly appreciated photographers in the world & is very famous for his fine quality of prints produced. His prints are still popular & in the sells.
He was having great technique to capture beautiful landscapes with eye pleasing composition & exposure. Adams developed the famous and highly complex "zone system" of controlling and relating exposure. This was a a method for getting real to life exposure for his images & prints. He understood completely how camera & lens sees the world & how one can get images looking real to life. In the age of film camera he understood how tones of color reflect in shades of grey.
His one of the favorite quote is "You don’t take a photograph, you make it"
.What I interpret his statement that a true photographer composes a photo first in mind & then apply his technique to capture that shot in camera. This is the way of making photograph. He always give advice to novice photographer to visualize, develop the skill of visualization. His development is enabling photographers to creatively visualize an image and produce a photograph that matched and expressed that visualization
He said in an interview he never took two different photographs of a same location. For answering this he added he knows what I have to shoot on a location along with what exposure & other settings. I understood this as if someone is taking more than one snap that means he don't know what he is doing. He took same photograph twice just to avoid accidental loss while developing films. I was really amazed to know this & his confidence in his techniques in the age of film camera. I still struggle to get correct exposure & composition in the modern age of digital camera.
I am still struggling to get good exposure by using modern day’s camera light meter & metering modes. I hope this article may help to make novice photographers curious enough to understand Zone System
This will also help them for metering in many situations & getting correct exposure. There are various books & tutorials for getting correct exposure by following zonal system. A practical immediate advantage for following this system is getting perfect white background for subject isolation as required for stock photography. After having basic understanding of getting correct exposure you will see your images with very natural colors & light.
'I hope that my work will encourage self expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the great world around us'
- Ansel Adams
I can only expect to get a image close to him one day :)