Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_System#Exposure

Camera settings:

  1. Make sure you know how to lock exposure (Usually by operating an “AE-lock” button)
  2. Turn on “Spot metering” (To allow “single spot brightness” metering)
  3. Dial in “-2” for exposure compensation.  (By this converting Zone V to III)
Note that a camera like the Nikon D300 has a setting allowing AF to be moved over to an “AF-ON” button, a similar settings is available on an e.g. Nikon F100 too.

Taking photographs:

  1. Place your AF-point on top of the darkest part of your subject, where you still wish to have texture
  2. Activate AE-lock there (you press the shutter button halfway in with standard settings)
  3. Recompose and take photo
  4. Check the histogram of the photo,
    recompensate and retake if very dark (left side adjusted) or light (right side adjusted).
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