The Zone System: Mastering Light and Exposure

Instructor: Tim Cooper

Self Study

The Zone System can teach you how to get correct exposures every time. In any situation. Through the study of exposure, you’ll become a master of light-the essential ingredient to every great photograph.

Learning the Zone System is a way to fully understand your camera and how it reacts to light.

Recognize the right light for every situation, alter compositions, adjust exposure, and even begin to pre-visualize how the final image will look up on the web or hanging on your wall.

Course Content

Course includes in-depth videos covering the Ancel Adams and Fred Archer's Zone System ensuring predictable results for metering and exposure .

  • Lesson 1: Introduction

  • Lessons 2: How the Camera’s Light Meter Works

  • Lesson 3: The Indicated Exposure Meter

  • Lesson 4: Placing Tones on the Scale

  • Lesson 5: Brighter and Darker Colors

  • Lesson 6: Portraits and Skin Tones

  • Lesson 7: Evaluating Tones

  • Lesson 8: Other Exposure Options

  • Lesson 9: Quick Metering

What You Will Get

  • Lessons

    Using videos, Tim clearly explains how the Zone System works and how you can use it to capture the perfect exposure.

  • Course Duration

    Course material is available to students for 60 days from date of enrollment.

What People Are Saying About This Course

“This is a really terrific short course - I learned a ton of new stuff in just an hour or two.”

Capital Photography Center Instructor


Tim Cooper

Tim loves photography and loves teaching. Combining these two passions is how he has spent the last 25 years.

Like many people, Tim always felt he had a creative side but felt that side stayed buried for way too long. That all changed when he moved to Montana and discovered his love of photography and his creative outlet!

Before long he was teaching and realized that he loved teaching as much as he loved taking pictures. He found that sharing his knowledge, watching people grow, and witnessing their excitement as they exercised their creative side was truly satisfying.

While teaching, he also began a career as a commercial and assignment photographer working with clients such as The North Face, The Ritz Carlton, Vasque boots, 3M and The International Heart Institute. His editorial and commercial photographs have appeared in Travel & Leisure, New York Times Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Fly Rod & Reel, Modern Luxury as covers, advertising, art, and editorial illustration.

Tim also loves to educate by writing and recording. He is the author of many training videos and has co-written three books in the series Complete Photoshop for Digital Photographers as well as many e-Books on various topics.

He runs photography workshops to many exciting destinations as well as with his partners at National Parks at Night. He loves the inevitable camaraderie that develops during workshops and finds it is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of our natural world, the drama of our man-made cityscapes, and to share his love of photography with others. Visit to find out more about Tim and his workshops.