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Digital B&W Zone System: Yosemite's Fall

High Sierra Workshops LLC

Friday, October 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 4:00 PM (PDT)

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Registration Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Digital B&W Zone System: Yosemite's Fall Oct 1, 2017 $995.00 $0.00

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This three-day course is an intensive study of the complete digital B&W zone system. Starting where most other instruction leaves off, the course curriculum examines not just the "popular" post-production techniques but also analyzes and breaks down what are simply just tricks to "make" a B&W shot versus what are the proper steps to "create" a B&W photograph.

It's not about taking a color scene that you like and later converting it to B&W through post-production software. While the B&W conversion is a critical step, it does not dictate the photograph. It is only the final step in a multi-step process that starts with reading the landscape scene for the final B&W show print. Applying the Zone System principles while shooting creates the the vital framework necessary for having that full range of tones — all 11 zones — that defines the striking nature of Ansel Adams' images. It is not about seeing what type of B&W image you can make, but seeing the scene in B&W and for what the photograph can ultimately become. The mental and physical steps actually do not differ much at all from silver-based films to digital photography!

The course is scheduled for the spring-time environment in Yosemite Valley, taking advantage of potential roaring waterfalls and high-water levels.



NOTE: As this course transcends both the technical and visual instruction found in most High Sierra Workshop offerings, students must be receptive to fresh, new thinking and approaches in the visual realm of photography, and willing to challenge their current ideals and mindsets.

Technical proficiency must include the ability to comfortably and regularly shoot with ease in manual exposure, and a solid comprehension of the shutter speed, aperture and ISO scales along with their secondary effect aside from exposure control.


Therefore, all students in this course MUST have either previously attended a High Sierra Workshops offering led by instructor Michael Mariant, or MUST provide a link to an online portfolio, a brief statement of intent, and have a brief conversation/web chat with the instructor PRIOR to class registration. It is imperative that all students are at the minimum technical experience level.


Participants are expected to be: 1) Comfortable in shooting in manual mode; 2) Understand how to use the in-camera spot meter or a hand-held spot meter; 3) Understand how to use the histogram not for exposure but for reading the tonal range of the image; 4) Are comfortable with RAW format coupled with exposure camera controls; 5) Are comfortable and can navigate their way around Photoshop or Lightroom, and use adjustment layers; 6) Are willing to participate in the workshop planning and prep via email discussion prior to the workshop start.


HSW alumni of previous courses and/or workshops led by Michael Mariant may register for this course at this time. If you have not previously attended a HSW workshop led by the instructor, please email the instructor a link to an online portfolio, a brief statement of intent, and contact info for a follow-up conversation PRIOR to registering for this course.


This course is strictly limited to five students to ensure an intimate environment, fostering the best learning opportunities possible.

Course Capacity: Minimum of 3 students, maximum of 5 students




Upon registration for the workshop and/or waiting list, all registrants will be added to the High Sierra Workshops' monthly newsletter email notification. Option to cancel receipt of monthly newsletter detailed in first emailed newsletter.

Have questions about Digital B&W Zone System: Yosemite's Fall? Contact High Sierra Workshops LLC

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When & Where

Yosemite National Park

Curry Village, CA 95389

Friday, October 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 4:00 PM (PDT)

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High Sierra Workshops LLC

High Sierra Workshops



Learn how to read the scene. Learn how to see the light. Learn how to make photographs that aren’t snapshots.

While most workshops simply take you around to predetermined sights, telling you where to point the camera and what the camera settings are for that shot, we here at High Sierra Workshops do things differently.

We have an integrated learning component for each and every location, from technical instruction to visual composition skills to theoretical applications … that just happens to be in a spectacular location!

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