Skip to main content

Tonal values

On a few occasions I've found tonal values accidentally working well in my pictures. Apart from a brief spell using the zone system I'm rarely even aware of them as an aspect, either in the image or existing out in the real world. But lately some mornings when I look out my bedroom window I am super-entranced by the contrasting tonal values in the distance - comprising the Fiat centre workshops and their car showroom behind and the bright sky above and beyond. It's exciting and makes me suddenly appreciate people who've understood and made a point of building their photos, or pencil/charcoal drawings around relationships of tonal values, in a good way. Of photographers Lewis Baltz and in particular his 'Maryland' project springs to mind. The intent comes more fully to life, just because of looking out the window on these bright, cold February mornings. I glimpse a little of what he was excited by back in 1976.