In Chapter XI (A Few Suggestions On Posing And Lighting) we gave our reasons for posing one subject, and in this chapter we will take another, and do the same. In both cases the subjects are examples of what any operator has to make sittings of almost every day. It is for this reason that we have chosen these two cases. Believing as we do in making directions of all kinds as practical as possible, we will follow our usual custom and use a few photos illustrating our ideas. Our first illustration is a full front view of the gentleman, and we have drawn lines through those parts to be criticised. It will be seen that we have three criticisms to make on this position, and we also have a criticism to make on the lighting. We will first speak of the lighting and afterwards take up the position.
It will be noticed that in the shadow side of the face the light runs all the way up to the outer corner of the eye. This gives a flat appearance to the face. It is too broad a light for his face, but at the same time, owing to the prominence of the cheek bone, it would be almost impossible to have any light on the shadow side of the face without it going too far up, and back to the corner of the eye. We are, of course, referring only to a front view of this face. It would be an easy matter to turn the head further from the side light, and do away with the light on the shadow side of the face altogether. But this would be too strong contrast for the face, and would serve to bring out still more distinctly the criticism we have to make on the position. We now call your attention to line number one in illustration No. 1. This indicates the narrowness of the forehead. This is a criticism we consider of some importance to the subject. It is true that he may have dressed the hair so that the forehead would-be broadened, but while we do not like to criticise the personal appearance of any one, we deem it necessary to mention these things for the benefit of those wishing to learn. It is becoming quite the custom now-a-days for large business firms desiring employes, to hold positions of trust, to ask for a photograph of them, provided, of course, that the applicants for the position are not on the ground personally. These photos are subjected to a critical examination and every feature of the face gone through with. It therefore behooves the operator to make his subject as presentable as possible, not only for the business men, but for the public at large. So we would rather have the forehead broader, and especially when we look at line number two and see the breadth of the face across the cheek bones. Again, line number three shows us the chin to be narrow in proportion to the cheek bones. Thus we see that we have made one part too prominent, and two parts are not prominent enough. In illustration No. 2 we have three more criticisms. In this sitting we bettered the conditions possibly a trifle, but hardly enough to mention. Line number one shows the temple to be too hollow, and line number two shows the brow to be heavy, and line number three shows the cheek bone to be too prominent. These prominences and recess in the outline of our sitting are so pronounced that they make the gentleman look rather angular. We should endeavor to get the outline of every sitting we make as near perfect as possible. A mistake that numbers of operators make is in turning the side of the face that presents the best outline towards the camera. This should not be done. The best outline in a 3/4 view of the face (as the illustration is) should be the side of the face that is always turned from the camera. In this particular instance we could have lighted the shadow side of the face a little deeper, and arranged the background, so that the face would have the appearance of melting into the ground. But this would still not be what we consider the best. In illustration No. 3 we have two points to consider: First, line number one shows the face to have a very lengthy appearance. It is too far from the part of the hair, around by the ear down to the chin. The second point is the prominence of the cheek bone again, and this time our lighting is at fault. We should never throw a bad outline into strong relief, such as Rembrandt lighting will give. If the outline is bad, and conditions are such that we must make a three-quarter view of the face, it should be done in a soft lighting, such as a "plain lighting," softened down with diffusing curtains, and, as mentioned above, have but very little difference in the tone of the ground and tone of the shadow side of the face. Always put a bad outline on the shadow side of the face. In this way it will be toned down so much that it will not be noticed so easily as it would if lighted with the outline on the light side of the face, as our illustration is lighted. Illustration No. 4 shows a Rembrandt lighting, profile position, and we consider it better than any of the foregoing sittings. As to beauty, the outline of the profile may be lacking, but for intellect it has a decided advantage. Here we have a thoughtful brow. The indications of a studious mind are not lacking. We have a strong nose, indicating good business qualifications. The contour of the whole head is much better proportioned. It should be the aim of every operator to bring into prominence all the attractive features of his subject, and at the same time cover up or tone down those parts that are not desirable in a nicely lighted and posed picture. This is done by the proper use of light and shade. To bring out the good points we should use light; to hide the bad points we should use shade. There was never a bad point covered up by placing a strong light on top of it. There was never a good point enhanced by hiding it in deep shadow. We do not mean to be understood as saying that a subject flooded with light will be made to appear better than the same subject would in a shadow lighting. But the idea we wish to convey is that if you have a subject that has some particular feature which you think good, and you want it noticed particularly in the finished picture, the lighting should be so made that the feature will be made more prominent, and this is done by lighting it stronger than the bad feature which you wanted to pass unnoticed.
Examples of Single Slant Lighting.
Examples of Double Slant Lighting.