240."And when her royal highness, the - model, presents herself to me for a pose, how am I to know how best to treat her?" queries the photographer mentally. Here again comes good your intuitions - the power of inspiration which you must cajole into your service. Never allow yourself to falter, any way, at such a conundrum. If you have heart for the work, the ideas will come to you, and the first lesson of this book is ever at your service. You should be full of it before you face any sort of a model.
241. In managing your curtains and reflectors, act not wildly. Natu-raftuai is what should be sought after, end it is mistake to light model the transparent tint or shade: and between this and the dark side lies what is called the aerial tint or middle tint. The point of darkness, the extreme shade, is directly opposite the focus of illumination, between which and the aerial tint lies the tint of reflection or reflected light. If the ball rests on a plane, it will cast a shadow equal in length to one diameter and a quarter of the ball. That shadow will be darker than the shade on the ball, and the darkest part will he where the plane and ball come in contact. - M. A. Dwight.
240. I think the first thing in posing, practically speaking, is to take a rapid survey of the sitter, a lady, for instance, to decide whether we take a full or three-quarters length; a sitting or standing; head and shoulders; which side of the face is best; which side of the dress, etc., is most effective, and thus try to secure the portrait having most personal characteristics in it, because we know many persons are recognized by their "walk as well as by their conversation." - W. J. Topley.
In studying faces our aim should be to find out what view or light best becomes it. This should be a constant study in every gathering of people that we see; we must search for effects of light and shade, and beauty and harmony of form. When a sitter enters your studio, at once look him over, read him, watch for anything pleasing or beautiful, and when he comet to your chair, use all your art to catch and hold it. - Alexander Hesler.
It appears that many photographers lose sight of the fact that the parts of the face farthest from the eye should be darkest in tone, and the parts nearest should be the lightest, with a gradation of tone from the light to the dark parts. I have seen many photographs by those high in the profession, in which the reverse of the above is strikingly observable, that is, the back part of the cheek would be lighter than the front part. By a little thought, you will see that this is an error. - Frank Jewell.
I think expression in a portrait of the first importance, and I consider that a master portraitist should be able to infuse any expression he chooses into a portrait. Expression belongs to the whole body as well as to the face. I have often thought I should try to produce a picture, the story or meaning of which should be plain, by using lay figures or marionettes only for the models, the whole story being told by the position and action of the figures. How is it that so many photographers seem to have but two or three positions at most for their sitters? - O. G. Rejlander.
241. The dress should give a mass either decidedly above or below that of the background. If above, care should be taken that it does not overweigh the light mass of the face, and sink the most important part of the picture into insignificance. With care, almost any in any striking, fancy way which never occurs in nature. You are to strive for likenesses, and not distortions and caricatures. Therefore, study the light effects upon face and figure, and then go to your ground-glass. The drapery too is of great importance, and the background must also have careful attention. Indeed, thoughtful care - all through.
white drapery can be used, and particularly with the shadow picture gives beautiful effects. Turning the shoulders from the light, shielding the dress from the light by an opaque screen, subduing the general illumination, are very effective means for producing softness and securing detail in white drapery. - W. J. Baker.
The whole system of lighting a subject for a photographic portrait is contained in the following sentence: The light must be properly balanced, the exposure sufficient to bear out the lighting, and the development regulated to the exposure. No one of these three items can be in error without destroying, with mathematical certainty, the perfect result. You may approximate, and produce good pictures, but not the best. Place a sitter under an uncurtained light, even in the most favorable position possible, and we at once see that one side of the face is in a very strong light, and the other in a very strong shadow. We can hardly see any detail in the shadow, except we squint the eyes and shut out the volume of light which confuses our vision (as it will also that of the lens), then we see some of the details. Now, take a large card-board and hold it to the side of your face, nearest the direction from which the light comes, and hold it also in such a manner that you see only the shadow side of the sitter's face, and observe how, at the instant the light side of the face is obscured by the interposition of the card-board, the shadow seems to lighten and become transparent. We perceive at once, from this experiment, that the shaded side of the face is not in the deep shadow it seemed to be, but that the force of contrast caused it to appear so; and practically, for all purposes of photography, it is so, for we cannot make our lenses squint. You will see by this that by balance I mean an even illumination or light, so managed that the contrasts shall not be white and black. - L. G. Bigelow.
The grand point for those who have not paid sufficient attention to this most important of photographic questions, is to accustom the eye by 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 object, 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 among 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 I 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, combined with the most perfect relief. The whole effect will be most striking and forcible; but after some time spent in close observation, he will find that, whilst the high lights and those next approaching to 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 happen to be a blonde dressed in light drapery. A little investigation will therefore show that the marble, being a Mini-transparent substance, permits - indeed requires - this strong treatment in order to produce the proper amount of relief, and that, in the case of the blonde with the drapery light to color, the shadows are softened by the reflections carried into them, and thus reducing their intensity. Every one must, at some time or other, have been struck with the wonderful effect of relief combined with perfect transparency in the half - shadows, when a lady, dressed in a very light diaphanous material, has chanced to be placed near an open window in a well-lit room. The effect is totally different if a swarthy, black - bearded man, in the mournful livery common to this age, should happen to be seen under precisely similar circumstances. In the latter case there are no reflections to help out the effect; hence the difference. I may say here that the most perfect effects of lighting I have ever seen have been produced at a lofty side-window, the lower portion of which was covered with semi-transparent material, a suitable system of reflectors being used to carry light into the deepest shadows to lessen the contrast. - Valentine Blanchard.