fred archer

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Valiant Previews: IMMORTAL BROTHERS: THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1 – On Sale April 12th! 

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by CARY NORD with CLAYTON HENRY

It’s winter at King Arthur’s court in Camelot! The monstrous Green Knight has appeared before the Round Table with no armor, a gigantic axe, and a challenge. He has come to insist that the weaker knights participate in a friendly “winter’s game” where anyone can strike him once with his axe, but on one condition: That the Green Knight can return the exact blow in one year’s time. King Arthur has agreed to face the mysterious knight himself, but the Round Table’s youthful and most gallant champion, Sir Gilad, takes up the challenge to protect his king. Much to the court’s surprise, the Green Knight doesn’t flinch as his head is struck clean off…only to pick it up himself and warn Gilad that he is fated to receive the same blow before the year is out. Now, Gilad – the Eternal Warrior – must solve the mystery of who the Green Knight is before his hour at the axe comes to pass! But first, he’ll need to find some help…in the form of his own immortal brothers – Armstrong and Ivar – who shall be united once more!


What Is The Zone System: A Practical Guide


If you want us to put it in the simplest words possible, the Zone System is a helps us get the right exposure in all our photos, every time, without fail, even in the strangest light settings, and without a trusty matrix meter. It is a magical system conceived of by none other than Ansel Adams himself, along with photographer Fred Archer in the late 1930s. As the father of landscape describes himself, the Zone System is “not an invention of mine; it is a codification of the principles of sensitometry, worked out by Fred Archer and myself at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, around 1939-40.” These masters of photography created the Zone System to help us expose in tricky lighting situations where the dynamic range is out of whack, or the lighting is fooling your light meter into creating exposures that are too bright or too dark.

The Zone System was originally developed for black and white sheet film, which was the only type used in those days. Sheet film was individually developed on standard exposure papers, but today we have color roll film that can be mass developed on papers with varying exposures. The Zone system is as much applicable to these “modern” methods as they were to the film it was created for, and can even help digital photographers get perfect exposures. And guess what? Digital photographers, the Zone System can work for you too!

Why do you Need the Zone System

Technically you probably don’t. However, for those of you who are exposure perfectionists, the Zone System is extremely effective in measuring different tones and the dynamic range of a frame that you are about to shoot. It helps you make the perfect exposure with just a spot meter to work with. This gives you immense control over what you’re shooting. You don’t just make guesses at what the right exposure might be, or waste film bracketing “just in case”. Thus, you can easily figure out when you require extra lighting, and what kind and amount of lighting that might be, or whether there is need for a fill flash to get the right brightness. It can also help you figure out if you need graduated neutral density filters.

The zone system is highly beneficial in capturing accurate images when the camera is unable to set the exposure to an accurate reading, so that you get to decide what your image will turn out like, and you know exactly how it will look before you make the exposure. 

How does the Zone System Work?

A camera’s metering system measures accurate exposure readings by focusing on the middle grey tones, which is 18% grey. This grey is the average of black and white. So, when you are shooting in a bright area, your camera will try to dim the light by bringing it down to the average and making the image underexposed in the process. Similarly, when you are shooting in a dark area, your camera will try to increase the brightness of the image, making it over-exposed. Understanding this mechanism is crucial to understanding how the zone system can be used.

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Another shot of my circa 1970’s Fred Bear Super Kodiak Recurve Bow. It’s the Fascor model with factory sight milled into the riser and has the original round ring pins and stiff brush rest. A great shooter. even the Camo limb sleeves are vintage.