Zone System re-introductions and slipping out of the zone

2012-07-04_2014

*(photo taken with phone - that's more of it)

So despite my Hasselblad 500C/M was sitting unused for a number of years, I never once felt it possible that I had infact stopped snapping. Sure didn't I minor in photography in college, and isn't it an integral part of my studio practice. Yeah I haven't worked as a pro for a couple of years now, but that was more about not wanting to end up doing weddings all the fucking time. Yes the Eos 10D is now outdated, and sure the charger was lost on that first loan out. But there were people around to lend me a spurious charger, and granted over time I forgot about that too and moved to a new city with not so many snappy heads about. Despite this two days ago I got a load of old 120 film, and set out with the express desire to shoot medium format again. That's when I realized I'd lost something, and it was more than intangible. I think I may have lost that innate sense.... you know the one..photos right?

I'd been using the 10D as a spot meter, and to check exposures. I'd had limited success doing so for landscapes for a number of years, with a moderate to nice success-rate - they're not all gems, but some of them have it. The meticulous notes I'd been sure to take gave way to more of a semi-intuitive crafty system, but one involving a charger. Going through the gear bag noticed that the ambient meter's battery was long dead. and I'd all but completely forgotten all the settings on my 1 degree spot meter. Balls. Top that off with a hurried schedule (building I want to shoot being renovated, and had to hand the keys back asap) and way, way too much caffeine I loaded the beautiful 100 Colour slide film in backwards. Dose

Shooting 400 on an overcast to sunny day, trying best to spot meter middle tones, and shadows to get a good reading (usually ending up on either f4 or f5.6 on 60 sometimes longer) is it possible that I just forgot everything? That's not right surely, yeah there's something going on alright and it kinda feels the part, but Argh. Got the results back from the developers today, fairly average, no delicous deep shadows, but then again there were none that day, and I can't help but think that the grey of the building is slightly too light.... skin tones on the few portraits are ok, but could be slightly washed out. I think this is uncertainty

So finally I get to the point......... who here is using the Zone system, who else is shooting EV, and could you oh ye gods that sit perched between lens and film impart some wisdom into the practical application of the zone system to colour photography....... this river needs to find the way to the ocean