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  1. #21
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    You are right. For 1 out of three people. For 1 out of three, it is obscure, obtuse and frustrating. For 1 out of three, it is OK. So, on average, it is good for about half the folks walking around wanting to take pictures.

    For half, it is incomprehensible.


    It isn't that Phil is wrong, it is that his approach is wonderfully and fantastically suited to those with an analytical temperament. If somebody builds by detail and detail to a complete whole... great. But lots of folks are intuitive rather than analytical, seeing the whole, first, then working down to the details. For an intuitive photographer, BTZS is like pushing a rope, herding cats, carrying water with a fork. BTZS has made the difference for a lot of excellent photographers. It has also driven lots of folks to Digital.

    Think about Bret Weston and Ansel Adams. Great photographers. Totally different approaches. Adams, step by step, like Davis. Weston ( pick a Weston, any Weston...) completely intuitive. And the BZTS system has a profound tendency to smother an intuitive approach. It's all about the temperment of the photographer.

    The Vestal and Horenstein books are proven texts, taking a middle of the road approach which is successful for nearly everybody. For a foundation, they are splendid. Davis is excellent for many, as an advanced text.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  2. #22

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    DF, not to be argumentative, but, do you know and understand the BTZS method? The reason I ask is before I knew the system, I thought it was insurmountably difficult. But, now that I know it, I could not have been more wrong. The system is actually easy as pie! You print a step wedge on your paper of choice using your different enlarging filters. You read these values and plug them into the computer. You expose 5 sheets of your favorite film to a step wedge with your enlarger, then process them for 4, 5:30, 8, 11, 16 minutes. Then you read those densities and plug them into the computer. THAT's IT! You are finished. You now know your Paper's exposure scale, your film's various speeds for your method of development/agitation and all of your different development times for various Subject Brightness Ranges you encounter in the field. We are talking a couple of hours to know all of this info. It's actually Very Easy! In fact it's easier, uses less material, and gives more acurate and usable info than the traditional Ansel Adams approach.

  3. #23
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Bobby:

    How would you teach somebody who played only by ear ?

    Take their instrument away until they learned to read ?

    One way for everybody ? Always ?

    All the time ?


    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  4. #24

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    I have learned a lot from Les Mclean "Creative Black and white photography". There are probably many things he didn't write about in this book, but I learned to take contrast into account while exposing and than how to alter developing on that.
    Many books cover everything but I never learned this properly untill the book mentioned above.

    Ohh Mr Cardwell you've got a point. I am one of those who would be turned down by so much info, trial and error is something I enjoy but reading and no error would scare me... But I understand people who do it the other way around. So non of you is wrong, and both are right I supose. Great isn't it!

    cheers!

  5. #25

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    On my way from work to the library to pick up the three Ansel Adams bibles Camera/Negative/Print that I ordered

    I look forward to reading them.

    Morten

  6. #26
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice so far. I will agree with everyone on their opinions simply for the fact that each photographer has their own preferences. Personally, I've read most of The Negative and I can appreciate it. Unfortunately, I believe in order to take full advantage of the zone system, you need separate backs and I usually use 35mm. I do have 2 of the same camera bodies, but their shutters may not be accurately calibrated, so that kills that idea. Also, I can't afford a spot meter, nor does my shooting style permit the use of one (most of my subjects won't stand still long enough for manual focus nevermind a spot meter).

    The other thing about my technique (I hope I don't regret saying this) is that I scan all my film because I don't have the means to use an enlarger (I know, they're cheap now, etc., etc., but I just can't afford a darkroom). I have a feeling I need to do a lot of experimenting with different film and developer combinations in order to get an idea of what works for me. What I need is a guide so that I don't experiment in vain. I'm going to look into BTZS for the hell of it.
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

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