The Language of Light: Understanding The Zone System for Digital Photography

with Kris + Lauren Penland


AVAILABLE JAN 16-26, 2017
all materials are downloadable & yours to keep

Learn the secret of perfect exposure!

Did you know that light has a language? It’s called The Zone System, and it’s not just for film! The Zone System is a perfect tool for any photographer (in any genre) who wants to grasp the advanced concepts of exposure. Learn the basics of The Zone System and how to use your camera’s meter to correctly expose in ANY lighting scenario including difficult light such as harsh light, back light, and low light. Then dive into creative exposures and how to expose based on your vision for a scene. You’ll see how Kris + Lauren control their exposures in difficult lighting scenarios, see the important role that mood plays in image-making and learn what to consider when making effective and intentional artistic decisions. Finally, you’ll see Kris + Lauren’s process for editing images and how The Zone System relates to the decisions they make in post-processing.

what you’ll get

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An eBook covering The Zone System, light, and how to put everything together to start executing your vision

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Outdoor Shooting Video

Outdoor shooting video covering harsh light, back light, and flat light

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Indoor shooting video covering direct light, back light, low light, directional side light, fall off light, and creative ways to use these different types of light


Editing videos showing how Kris + Lauren apply their knowledge of The Zone System during post-processing Hand edits of color and black and white images as well as direct light, back light, flat light, fall off light, directional side light, silhouette, landscape

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Exercises to get you thinking deeper about your own work and to put The Zone System into practice in your own work right away​

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Submit questions to the Presenter anytime during the program's duration, and receive a copy of the recorded Q&A video at the end of the breakout's run.

what you’ll learn


The basics of The Zone System + your camera’s meter, how to put The Zone System into practice and expose properly


Learn all about dynamic range and how (and why!) to think about it when making decisions


How important it is + how to start visualizing scenes


Understand how versatile and diverse light is, Learn how to use The Zone System to manipulate light and when to manipulate light


​Learn how to expose in difficult lighting both indoors + out


Learn how important establishing a mood is and how you can use The Zone System to manipulate mood


Learn how The Zone System plays a role in Kris + Lauren’s editing process

about your presenter

Kris + Lauren Penland of Sea + Rhythm Photography are family + newborn storytellers, photography educators, new podcasters, and Offset artists living and adventuring in Alaska with their 3 daughters. They have a passion for documenting their family and inspiring others to do the same. You can view more of their work and learn more at


  • Amanda Rigelman says:

    I literally just downloaded this amazing compilation of teachings. I love how thorough and well put the information is laid out. I have learned so much within the first how of this class and I am so eager and ready to learn more. I would highly recommend this class and can say without a doubt, that these authors and contributors know what they are talking about. Very very great!

  • Ashley says:

    I am in awe that this is a breakout and not a workshop or something. There is so much information packed into this breakout. It’s almost too much! I am a breakout junkie and feel that this is the best one I have participated in yet. Totally worth $25.00.

  • Melanie Crawford says:

    I could not be more thrilled with this inspiring and informative breakout! I was introduced to the concept of spot metering and the zone system in a prior workshop, and the breakout materials have helped to really expand my knowledge of the system, giving tons of gorgeous examples and tips on how to approach metering for different lighting scenarios. I am still working my way though the many included videos, and those I have watched so far have been incredibly helpful. This is my second time purchasing a live breakout, and the active forum is such a valuable bonus! It provides great motivation to complete the exercises described in the pdf (and to see other participants’ work on the exercises), and it’s so helpful to then be able to discuss them with the instructors and other forum members. I highly recommend this breakout, it’s the best $25 I’ve spent in a long time!

  • Shannon Gray says:

    This will be my first class with clinkinmoms. So far I’m only on my first day of this class but loving all the information so far. Seems like a lot of material for $25. Easily understandable and beautiful examples of topics they are discussing. Can’t wait to dive in more!

  • Marybeth says:

    I definitely recommend this for someone looking for a better way to nail exposure!

    The zone system was introduced to me about four years ago, when I first started shooting manual. At the time, it seemed too overwhelming to learn (on top of everything else) so I just skipped over that information. I didn’t realize how valuable this information was. I actually have wasted a lot of time trying to find the right exposure, missing out on key moments. In the past year, I resorted to using my LCD preview as a way to get proper exposure. Ugh. Through all my reading and studying, I just never found anything that made it *click*. Struggling with exposure became a norm for me. Everyone takes like 8 test shots to find good exposure, right?
    Then I heard about the language of light. I saw it as an opportunity to learn something different that would change how I approached exposure. I feel like walked away with more knowledge than I expected. This breakout not only breaks down the zone system and teaches it in an easy way (I was totally like, “Duh! Why didn’t it make sense before?!”) but is chock full of information on how to look at light a little differently, and use it to your advantage. I also loved watching the editing videos and realizing how much easier my workflow could be once I started nailing things.

  • Paola says:

    It was só great to be able to learn about the Zine System. I love this Breakout!

  • Sarah Joos says:

    In the past I have been taking a lot of photography classes. At first more technical classes later the ones that give you a creative push. So just going of the description of this breakout I might not have bought it. I love Kris and Lauren’s style. So I was curious how something so technical could help them with their emotion driven work. I was not disappointed. I knew how to use the zone system but it never really clicked. I had all the technical knowledge to get a perfect exposure but I almost never used it. Most of the time I just love to trial and error until I get the wanted creative result. Sometimes it drove me crazy, because I had so much work editing. Especially if my favorite exposure wasn’t the one that was emotionally best… I’m working on my 3th 365 project so I could use all the help there is to keep my editing to a minimum. This breakout has really helped me do just that. I know where I’m going emotionally, creatively and now I know how to get the right exposure for that really fast. So even if you feel like you have all the knowledge, Kris and Lauren will help you make the connection between knowledge and your artistic side.

  • Katie D says:

    I’ve been shooting in manual for several years and have taken *many* photography classes, yet had never explored the Zone System… I’ve been missing out! This breakout made it easy to understand and thoroughly explained the concepts with such beautiful imagery. And with a PDF over 90 pages, many awesome videos, and creative exercises… it seemed more like a study-along workshop! I’m amazed that this breakout is only $25; it’s a tremendous value and I highly recommend it!

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