The negative | Anselm Adams

This is a classic and very useful work from Anselm Adams  (1902 – 1984), north american photographer, in which he explains his Zone System. It is a working procedure that starts by evaluating the film exposure considering:

  1. Scene’s tonal range
  2. How that range will be translated to the negative
  3. How the print will finally render what negative potentially has

The book is part of a series of three, I personally consider The Negative the most crucial one followed by The Print and then by The Camera.

Thinking about digital photography, it is easy to realize that all the problems addressed about how to conciliate the scene with the final print, either to produce a faithful rendering or something departed from our immediate perception, fully applies within the Zone System. As a matter of fact, nowadays, with the easy access we have to densities, histograms, spot metering and the like, the teachings of Anselm Adams can help a lot the contemporary photographer at shooting time and also post production. The key concepts are the same.

Books can be found at Amazon:

The Camera

The Negative

The Print


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