| When I first started
testing film and developer combinations, I became frustrated trying to find
the right scene to photograph. It was important to have a wide range of
tones so that I could accurately test shadows and highlights as well as
midtones. Previously I had done tests using a gray card, in which adjusting
the exposure would simulate various tones. But the results were not quite
the same as photographing a three-dimensional object with various tonal
qualities. After some consideration of the problem, I came up with a tool
that works for me - the Tone³ (pronounced Tone Cube). I also found
that the device had other uses.
The Tone³ consists of three tones - black, white, and gray - which are configured so that each tone is next to itself as well as the other two tones. In other words, the cube is made up of three pairs of tones. Because of this configuration the cube can be placed in such a way as to find the most extreme tonal range (white side in the sunlight and black in the shade, for example) or just to find a normal range (white and black both in direct sunlight), or even to see and learn about light ratios (white in the sun and shade, gray in the sun and shade, and so forth). Seeing how the various sides reflect light can be very educational.
The cube can be a testing tool in addition to a learning device. By using a spot meter to check the light reflected from the various tones, under assorted lighting conditions, a photographer can see whether shadows will retain detail with a "normal" exposure.
I've had a manufacturer make the Tone³ for me. If you're interested in purchasing rather than constructing one, e-mail me for information or fill out this form and I'll contact you with info. There are limited quantities available and no more will be manufactured.
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