The CZS and the Top 5 Questions

Yesterday I asked the readers of EverydayHDR via email what their questions were about the Color Zone System.  I received a lot of great questions and, yes, I responded to everyone of them!  I really do enjoy the interaction with Photographers all over the world.  Here were the top 5 questions asked and my responses:

   1.  Can the CZS be used with other Plug-Ins (i.e. Topaz Products) or Workflow?  Would the CZS be overkill after using plugins?

The CZS and DZS work with all Plug-Ins.  While they do not work directly in the plug-in, you may use the plug-in either before or after.  Just to give you an idea, here is my typical workflow.

  • Photomatix for a baseline HDR image
  • Adobe Camera Raw for pre-processing (like Chromatic Aberration, Noise, etc.)
  • Fix small things in Photoshop, like straightening the horizon fixing lens distortion
  • Run the Digital Zone System
  • Run the Color Zone System
  • Use Topaz Plug-ins (Detail, Adjust, ReStyle) for the desired artistic effect.
  1.  Is the color zone system a support system or is it independent?

 The Color Zone System is both a support system for the DZS and a standalone workflow.  I have used it in both regards and tested it extensively on anything from portraits to HDR images and it works well on all in all regards.

I would say that using it in conjunction with the DZS is the best because you gain full control over tone with the Digital Zone system and then have full control over color with the CZS. It can be incorporated into any workflow seamlessly due to the versatility of the group.

  1. Why is it priced $147?

I have done extensive research of photography packages on the web that include Photoshop Instruction.  The going rate is anywhere from $99 – $199 per hour of instruction!

At that price no one would be able to afford the CZS as it contains over 3 hours of Photoshop Instruction.  That would put this package in a price range that I would not be comfortable asking. Instead I priced this reasonably to suit the information contained within and most importantly, I wanted it to be accessible.

It really is more of an investment than a cost as the system can be used on any photo you throw at it.  It is not just a follow along and “look at what I can do” type of training package. Right now at $60 off during the promotion is the best time to jump on board, especially for the Webinar that is being offered with it.

  1. Does this work with Photoshop Elements?

Unfortunately, the CZS Action itself will not Work with Elements.  Some of the training in the tutorial package may apply, but the Action will only work in Photoshop, it has been tested on CS5-CC2014

  1. Is the “Color Zone System” different than the “Digital Zone System”? If yes, what is the main difference?

Yes they are different in a few ways.  The first is the DZS applies to tone and the system targets the tonal value in your photographs primarily, with the focus being on the 11 point Zone System.  While this does also effect color, it does it indirectly by affecting the tones of the colors.  It primarily focuses on tone.

The CZS targets the colors in the photograph, specifically the 6 primary digital colors (Cyan, Magenta, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow) Ultramarine, Orange, and Violet.  Grey, Black and White are also.  The CZS will achieve different results as the targeted areas are primarily on color and for color respectively. This is how I like to look at it.  The DZS is the cake and the CZS is the icing, and I love icing 🙂




Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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