74. The first thing to be noticed is, that when the sun is abroad in a landscape, the most characteristic feature to be observed is the decided. sharp, well - defined shadows, and in proportion as the objects are brilliantly lit, in like proportion will it be found that the shadows from them are deep and intense, and throughout the whole this last will be found to be observed in beautiful harmony, giving here brightness and precision, and there softness and delicacy, while in every direction an endless variety pervades, giving a charm indefinable by words. Also observe that in bright light and deep shadows the texture or detail is very limited, and that in nature neither bright light nor deep shade is to be found in large masses, but rather in points.
75. Where there is a large mass of light, either in sky or water, it will of artistic power, and it will then see shadows distinctly, but only the more vigorous of them. Cultivate it still further, and it will see light within light and shadow within shadow, and will continually refuse to rest in what it had already discovered, that it may pursue what is more removed and subtle, until at last it comes to give its chief attention, and display its chief power on gradations, which, to an untrained faculty, are partly matters of indifference and partly imperceptible."
73. Now, what is lighting? You take a common watering-pot and remove the rose, and the stream of water goes out in a body. You put on the rose, and it causes the water to flow in little streams and scatters it. The same effect is produced on the light coming through the atmosphere; the atmosphere divides it, scatters it, diffuses it. We take a rod and strike the surface of water gently, and we drive the water in all directions, or according to the direction of the blow. So it is with light. It comes through a steep skylight, and it has to pass through the atmosphere to get to the subject, and the further it falls the more it is diffused. - A Voice at the Buffalo Convention, 1873.
74. What is the philosophy of arranging a face under the light? What is the first thing to be done? The first thing is to admit as much diffused light over the whole face as you can: I will say pretty near as much as the eye will open and shut comfortably in, as will not affect the eye at all, or oblige you to close it. So that you can open the eye naturally; so that it shall not make you blink or want to look down. You want a light that will bo diffused over the whole face and figure. - A. S. SouthwoRth.
75. A few questions: How do we recognize brilliancy in a photograph? Answer. By the contrast of light and shade. How do we recognize softness and delicacy in the same?
be found secondary to some brighter light, such as the bright edge of a dark cloud in the sky, the glancing wave on the sea, or the white sail of a boat; and, whatever may be the means used by nature, it will be found small in proportion to its brilliancy, and by its brilliancy it will give to these larger masses of light the effect of half-tone by comparison. Also notice that the highest lights and deepest darks are generally found in nature side by - the dark giving brilliancy to the light, the light
Intensity to the dark. And again, we find when the sun is veiled and the light soft, and a half - tone pervades the face of nature, some sombre pine or overhanging rock will give the deepest shade - small break in the sky, the highest light
76. "What can be more magnificent in light and shade than when, after rain,a stream of light shoots forth from the hidden sun and illu-mines, as if striving after effect, a selected spot of verdant field or wooded brake glistening with moisture and refulgent with color; or, when it selects the white sail of a distant, vessel, or the beach of an opposite
Answer. By the harmony of the light and shade therein displayed. Let every one strive to attain a medium between the two, and the result will be satisfying to any one. You ask, how to set about it? Screen your skylight, and cut off by curtains all the superfluous light, leaving only enough to properly light the sitter; suitably contrast the dress and complexion with the right shade of background, and you will, by the proper strength of developer and correct timing, get all the intensity you desire. By hanging your plain, ordinary background on a pivot, and tilting it, you can have a different shade every time, suiting the most exacting sitter. - C. A. Zimmerman.
The grand point, for those who have not paid sufficient attention to this most important of photographic questions, is to accustome the eye to constant watching - out of the studio as well as in it - for any unusual effect of light on the human face which may happen to be pleasing, and at once to analyze, as far as possible, the cause. I shall best further my before I speak of special studio arrangements, by describing two extremes of light, one favoring perfect relief, but with contrasts too strong for general photographic purposes, and the other - unfortunately too common amongst photographers - producing flatness and almost total absence of texture. By putting these two extremes side by side, I shall the more readily make clear what 1 desire to say. Those who have been in the studio of the sculptor for the first time, will have been struck by the wonderful delicacy and relief of any work in marble which may happen to be in hand. Should his curiosity lead him to watch the effect of the same kind of light on the human head and bust, he will be equally delighted with the novel effect of light and shade before him. He will notice a delicacy and texture quite unusual in ordinary lights, combind with the most perfect relief. The whole effect will be more striking and forcible; but after some time spent in close observation, he will find, that whilst the high - light and those next approaching them are wonderfully rendered, the deepest shadows and those allied to them are much too heavy for photographic purposes. The observer will feel less of this, however, if the subject examined should hapshore; or, as all have often Been, and wondered at its constant choice, the whitened Avails of distant villages? In these two moods of nature, as it were, may be found the true foundation for all authentic principles in art. And the painter or photographer will select the mood most suited to his subject, and, like the writer of history or romance, he will use his highest powers, his brightest light, or deepest shadow, or both, to give full prominence to the leading point, judiciously obscuring others.