90. It is hardly necessary to observe that I do not advocate such violent contrasts as would destroy all transparency in shadows, or all detail in the lights. But I do maintain that this style of lighting, judiciously managed, frequently reveals a beauty in nature, whether contemplated in landscape or human faces, that would never be seen in the mild contrast of a diffused light. No cultivated eye has failed to observe this fact, and no experience, it matters not how limited, but has had occasion to note, under the ever-varying conformations of nature, how frequently contrasts will best subserve the purpose of displaying its beauties. Frequently by this means lines are so softened, and angles so rounded or modified, as to turn what otherwise would be harsh and unsightly almost into the very poetry of form and expression.
I have taken pains to test the effect of this style of lighting upon hundreds of subjects, watching closely its advantage or disadvantage upon merely personal beauty as well as its effect upon the mind of the sitter. From want of cultivation or taste, most sitters dislike strong shadows; but even in such cases, if you submit proofs of the two styles of lighting, the Rembrandt effects will so much better display the personal good points of the subject, that in eight cases out of ten this style of lighting will be selected, the natural prejudice against strong shadows being overcome by the greater desire to be beautiful. The photographer should take advantage of these conflicting elements as pointing the way by which the public taste can be educated up to a proper appreciation of really artistic photographic compositions. - D. H. Anderson.
91. But Rembrandt's extending of ihe light through the picture gradually more enlarged. He finanally illuminated even his darkest shadows by streaks of red, or rich brown color,running into them. The same effect may be secured by the photographer if skill be ex ercised in lighting. One of the greatest charms of Mr. Adam Salomon's quisite work is in this very thing. While there seems to be considerable clear glass in his negatives, judging from his prints, yet, when we examine them, little delicate streaks of half - lights are seen dancing about here and there, like colors in a dew-drop, giving;a tone and charm to the picture which is truly fascinating. Very often, in a composition picture,may be introduced to receive the Light and secure the desired effect of light and shade. A ray of light felling into the operating apartment upon a light object, may, as in nature, reflect back the rays and illuminate the surrounding objects, giving thus the principal light the properties of light itself.
My method of securing these brilliant effects is as follows: I place behind the model, to serve as a background, a large window of glass of the color of red fire. This background window is placed on the best lighted side of the studio, so as to secure the most luminous and transparent effect The model is placed about twenty inches in advance of the window -just a sufficient distance, in fact, to permit the moving of the bead-rest. At a greater distance the effect would not be so good. The size of the window may be determined by the artist in relation to the class of work he may wish to produce, and the glass should have a simple frame of wood. The oblique rays of white light are especially effective, and, com-bind with the red light, permit of the production of some very interesting and varied effects. by varying the position of the model in relation to the window, the varied com-lunation of the white rays with the red present some very interesting points of study, and the process produces images in very powerful relief upon a black background peculiarly transparent. - Adam Salomon.
9:2. The shadows of all objects receiving such rays, we shall generally find well defined, as in nature, and Rembrandt frequently introduced such objects for the purpose of producing lights, giving an appearance of truth to the whole effect. At other times we find the shadows swallowed up
Fig. 26. in the splendor of light, as if afraid o f disturbing its breadth. He always had some end to accomplish, and that should be the plan of the photographer who desires to excel. Have a plan, a purpose, and work up to it. To illustrate, a copy of Rembrandt's c e 1 e-brated group," The Syndic of the Cloth-Mongers," is given. The original is now in the museum at Amsterdam, and is one of the wonders of art.
93. It may not be out of place to give a few examples in the practice
92. One of Dr. Johnson's definitions of softness is "vicious delicacy," which admirably expresses its relation to art. Now I look upon gradation as one of the most valuable of art qualities, which may be defined, in contradistinction to softness, as delicacy without vice. Gradation will include every tint and tone between absolute white and absolute black. It is true that, in a limited sense, every progress of one tint into another, however narrow the scale, is a gradation, and would therefore include softness; but in art the word gradation is used to express a much wider scale than can be included by the word softness. Ruskin says there can be no true gradation that does not include the extremes of black and white -the whites to be precious, the blacks conspicuous. The whites tender and delicate, and limited, if you like, but bright and lustrous where they are required (and they are required in every picture); the blacks must be conspicuous - however small a piece of black may be, it ought to catch the eye. There is gradation in every inch of nature; but without the judicious introduction of pure black and pure white, the luminous beauty to be gained by ever - varying gradation is lost, or becomes that "vicious delicacy " called softness. - H. P. Robinson.