Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
I also am interested in experimenting with extreme Zone System placement and processing (maybe putting something Zone VI on III, plunging everything else to black and developing N+3 to bring Zone VIII back to VIII to give the illusion of a full scale print with very distorted values).

Think about that when you are out and about. If you can't find a straight landscape that's worth committing to film, there might be an abstraction.
Bill, it seems that we share an interest in less common zone placements. In my experience, it helps achieve an abstract, and, I hope, an interesting result. I have a short sequence of about six images taken in Canyon X, on my web site, where, while working in very low-light conditions, I had a lot of freedom in selecting zonal placements. I tried unusual options, and I think it has worked well, helping express the rhythms in the abstract patterns on the rock face, while retaining the overall feel of a chaos. I placed high on low, and have given N+2 in some of those photographs. I feel that I have helped the viewer see what the eye doesn't easily grasp, while looking at those famous sandstones.

On the other hand, I have found that an unusual placement in more recognisable, natural looking landscape is trickier, and does not work as easily as it does in an abstract. I hope to learn more about it, from reading your comments, and by experimenting further.

Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
AA advocated the use of full black in prints, no doubt. But in regard to his own aesthetic, what he did not prefer, from what is in the literature that I can tell, was a large percentage of the image containing empty black space.
Chuck, thanks for your observation. It makes me wonder, however, if in the later prints he may have deviated from that preference. When I saw Adams's exhibit in 2002, mainly of his most recent printings, I was struck by how pitch-black the skies were, for example in Moonrise, Hernandez, where the black space occupies almost 40% of the print. Nonetheless, I felt that that space had been used very effectively and expressively.

PS. I hope I have not offended anyone by linking to my two abstract pictures. Apologies if otherwise, the only aim was to illustrate my point, as this discussion is very relevant to me at the moment.