Circular Composition. Having now endeavored to explain and illustrate the angular and pyramidal forms of composition, it is desired to draw your attention to the circular form. It will be found the style of composition to some extent applicable to photography - particularly in grouping. Before attending to the examples given below, note, for your guidance, a few things which it is necessary to attend to when grouping.
65. The story must be well told; that is, one figure must be so linked to the other that the spectator has little or no difficulty in discerning the purpose or designs of the photographer; see that the parts assigned to each figure be appropriate and natural; that the general outline be graceful and pleasant to look on; that the grouping affords an opportunity for a judicious arrangement of light and shade; and not only should the lines of the group so run that the eye is led to the principal figure or figures composing it, but the principal focus of light should also be so managed as to assist in doing this (see Fig. 19). Use all the appliances at your disposal to reach the highest point of excellence; and, to those who have not yet tried a camera with a swing - back, be it said, if you can afford it. by all means get one, and see that the arrangement is such as to swing both horizontally and perpendicularly.
66. To succeed in photographing groups, the photographer must not only possess quickness of perception, but promptness in decision, and
65. The art of posing (for it is an art) should be studied by photographers as carefully as any other part of their business, as in this direction lie important aids to success. Gentlemen, look into and study this subject. Discard the methods so long in use which have led to the ing, " As stiff as a photograph." It is too horrible for you to go on putting people into stocks and pillories, and then making pictures of them in their torture. "What will our grandchildren say when they see the cast-iron appearance you give to your subjects; and while you are about it, carry your studies still further into the realms of grouping. You know that composition picture are always attractive, but when made by a single exposure the imperfections are so prominent that no one is satisfied. Now, to try this plan. When the skies are leaden and the streets sloppy, and no one thinks of going to your rooms, then get up your designs, remembering, above all things, the necessity of correct perspective; call in a few friends, one by one, as you have leisure, put them in position, and get up your specimen. You will find that the consciousness of being in a position that means something will take away the statue expression every one assumes when a camera is pointed at them. - W. D. Gatchel.
In making the sitting, study your subject well in all the different views; make up your mind which la best, or will harmonize best with your sitter's taste; stick to that position until you get a satisfactory negative. However, should you have several negatives, and are that in a very marked degree, for,while these qualities are required in the posing and arranging of tingle figures, the difficulties to be over come are tenfold when you have to compose and arrange a group,even of three or four figures,for it must be remembered that not many minutes often intervene between the conception and the completion of the work.
To succeed, then, all the powers of the mind and the eye must be put forth, and that with an energy that many do not Understand. The painter, in composing, has more leisure to arrange,complete, and perfect his ideas; nor is he so tied down as to depth of focus,etc.
But do not entertain the idea, that all the advantages are on his side. The rapidity of production which the camera affords, if properly used is a very powerful means of educating - the work,good or bad, at ones before us to study - and, by studying, we can see many of our faults, and discern points of excellence, which the careful photographer whose works were formed by no rule, yet became a model and a rule to other men. Still, as Professor Sedgewick has remarked," Few,however in doubt as to which is best, prove them all, and then make the selection yourself, and show only one. If, however, your customer is not pleased, you can then bring forward the others if you think there is anything In them to remedy the difficulty. - F. B. Clench.
Stores for future use; and many of the mechanical difficulties, when earnestly grappled with, give way to our will. It is hoped that not a few of those who have given this subject their careful study, will find help to a quick perception of what is good or bad, and be enabled to promptly decide on what to accept or reject.
68. Sorne hastily reject all rules, and consider them only a hindrance to their progress in art, because men have arisen, from time to time.
67. Make your sitter at ease with himself, draw out his finer feelings, and, if possible, bring all that is good and noble within him to the surface, and being prepared, your light in har-mony, watch and catch the right expression. As a photographer you may be ashamed of the resulting picture, but you have reflected from that face the soul and beauty within. -
68. Now, no doubt, it is wall to be humble. The first test of a great man is his humility; but I do not mean, by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking of his opinions, but a right understanding of the relation between what he can do and say and the rest of the world's sayings and doings. All great men not only know their business, but usually know that they know it; and are not only right in their main opinions, but they usually know that they are right in them, only they do not think much of themselves that account. Arnold knows that he can build a good dome at Florence; Albert Durer writes calmly to one who finds fault with his work, " It cannot be better done;" Sir Isaac Newton knows that he has worked out a problem or two that would have puzzled any one among us are permitted to show this high excellence; ordinary minds must be content to team by rules, and every good system must have ref-erence to the many and not the few." We have undoubted authority in the example of the great Raphael for being humble and apt to learn.