86. A few explanations further, using imaginary pictures, but trying to make them plain to you. Let us imagine ourselves in a railway tunnel or cave, say twenty feet from the entrance, and looking out. Now, by a lens outside, let the light be collected into a focus and thrown obliquely upon one of the walls of the tunnel. We shall then have explained to us one of the principal properties of light, upon which many of the old masters have doubtless formed their principles of light and shade. Where the bundles of rays are collected, the light is increased in brightness; and when they become more diffused and spread out, it naturally becomes more feeble, losing itself in half-tint. In the experiment suggested to your imagination, we have some of the most essential qualities of light as applicable to photographic portraiture. We have a principal light, which, being produced by the collecting of the rays, leaves that por-tion of ground the darkest which comes in contact with it, thereby assisting its brightness. We obtain an innumerable variety of gradations until the light is dissipated and lost.
87. Now, the question may be asked, how can these properties be made use of in the management of the light and shade of the picture? As folinto one mass and the lights into another, as that the direction of illumination should be discoverable and single. As in the other cases, the type has its foundations in nature and the laws of the mind, and obtains in complex as well as in simple forms. If our globe were at all rough or irregular, it would follow that the grading of the masses must correspond. The human head is approximately an irregular sphere, and we find the masses of light and shade it presents broken and varied. - W. J. Baker.
86. Burnet very justly says: " Every light, however small, ought to have a focus, or one part brighter than another, this being the law of nature; and for the same reason we ought to have one portion of a dark more decided than the rest. Bring these two extremes together and they assist each other, one becoming darker and the other brighter from the effect of contrast. If they are placed at the opposite sides of the picture, we have greater breadth and a more equal balance."
87. If, now, the chemicals are in every direction in perfect order, and the carrying of the process of the plate from the beginning of coating it with collodion till fixing it after redeveloping is well executed, why does not the negative show the result of complete harmony in all its details? The fault will be found in an imperfect lighting of the subject, for surely lows; Let the principal light, or focus of light, be on the upper part of the face;then allow the light to fall down on the figure, and you thereby produce a union, and an appearance of light giving out rays of the same hue as itself. This was Rembrandt's plan, who rendered the most complicated compositions subservient to the simplest principles of light and shade, and who was equally happy in his portraits of single figures. Further on, an effort will be made to explain more fully his method of lighting.
Now, again, imagine yourself in the tunnel, and the focus of light coming towards you directly from the centre, gradating to the examinities, with a border of dark binding in the whole. By this mode the light has great brilliancy, as you will see,giving less breadth, but less contrast
- a soft union of the lights with the shadows. It need hardly be repeated to you that upon the management of light and shade depends the general look of the picture. There is an art, in their management and disposition, and that art can only be acquired by close attention and examination of the works of those who have excelled in it.
89. Having now spoken of the manner of lighting the subject adopted by Rembrandt, a further explanation of what his method was becomes neccessary. Rembrandt was in his early days a great stickler for bright light in his pictures, often at the sacrifice of other qualities, and in his first there will nut be any more details on the picture than are to be found on the ground - glass in the camera, after having focussed properly and exactly.
As to the appearance of the picture on the ground-glass, it ought to contain a general brightness and a soft gradation between high-lights and deeper shades, in order to give the picture a perfect relief, not forgetting the drapery, furniture used for posing, and background, the proper lighting of which is also Important for the harmony of the whole picture. Knowing his chemicals, the photographer will be able to expose his plate just the right time, which is of no little importance. - J. K. Wolowski. 88. Reynolds says: " The same rules which have been given with regard to the regulation of groups of figures, must be observed with regard to the grouping of lights; that there shall be a superiority of one over the rest; that they shall be separated and varied in their shapes; and that there should be at least three lights. The second lights ought, for the sake of harmony and union, to be of nearly equal brightness, though not of equal magnitude, with the principal."
89. The Rembrandt light means a limited strong light, not all over the face, but just merely on the forehead - a small portion of the forehead - and a little on the nose. The rest of the face not total darkness, but you can see in the darkness - clair-obscure - light in the shade. There is Rembrandt again. The Rembrandt is dark, and yet you see everything in the picture, because it is all transparent. It is just like going into a cellar; at first you do not see anything, but as you remain two or three minutes you begin to see everything. That is clairobscure - light in darkness - everything visible and yet in the darkness. - D. C.Fabronius.
90. This is a mistake. All know that the sun-burned people of the country like " nice white faces," but they must be educated to what is tasteful and right; or, if the photographer must give in, let him manage some way to introduce other lights into the picture to detract somewhat from the face, and prevent it from looking quite so glaring. This can be done in very many ways, governed by circumstances; for example, a handkerchief in a side-pocket, a book held open in the hand, the hands folded on a chair, and dark cloth, or something draped Dear them, so as to bring out the light more prominently in a hundred ways one may counteract the evil spoken of with useful effect. A good study in this direction is given in "Orpin, the Parish Clerk of Bradford," by Thomas Gainsborough, as the tight on the hands and on the edges of the book show.