320. And after all these points are looked after comes the all-important subject of light. Upon it depends all. It not only secures the brilliancy of the picture, but it even changes the forms and sizes, seemingly, of the objects included in the view. It lengthens and shortens the shadows, it gives the contrasts of light and shade, it gives the detail where wanted, and all the snap and life there is to the whole composition is regulated by the light. In every picture there are points which are more prominent than the others, and which all parts are made more or less subordinate.By a careful arrangement of the light and masses of light and shade, we secure the prominence due to each object. This is plainly exemplified in the model picture given. 81. Sometimes figures are introduced with good effect into the pic-ture, but they are not advantageous unless used to make up the when they must be posed and placed so as to harmonize with all the other parts, in other words, be one of the arts of the whole. There are times when they will give life and snap to a picture, but never allow a policeman to intrude for such a purpose. In street views figures are allowable. In the landscapes, only where they can be used to help give the idea of height or distance, or to harmonize in some way subordinately with the rest of the subject.
320. Brilliancy in a photograph is a mere matter of intensity altogether irrespective of any artistic consideration. It alters neither form nor composition; but sunshine not only supplies this intensity, hut especially improves the picture by varying the forms. In illustration of this, take a foreground with nothing but a grass bank and short herbage growing upon it; the advocates of no sunlight represent it as a blank and even patch, which it possibly may be, but, give sunshine a chance, and the shadows of neighboring trees, etc., or inequalities in a ground itself, make a broken and pleasant effect without an accessory of any kind. What applies here to the small piece of foreground holds good with the whole of the landscape, and I firmly believe that no landscape was ever taken on a sunless day, no matter how successfully, but would, with the same skill of manipulation, have been infinitely better done on a sunny one. In fact, it is a mystery to me how any one who has intelligently studied landscape effect at all could think otherwise. Because there is sunlight, there is no necessity for chalkiness or snowy effect in the foliage, or want of detail in the shadows. These effects are mere errors of manipulation, and chiefly occur when the plate has had insufficient exposure or faulty development, and are not due to the lighting of the subject. - Edward Dunmore.
The student should note distinctly that, however astonishing and captivating good definition and detail may be in studies of foreground, etc., in the general landscape, fine broad effects of light and shade will supersede all. Mere clean mechanism on the plate grows monotonous, and will always succumb to the sentiment conveyed to the mind of the spectator by representations, photographically less perfect, in which any of the changing effects of light and shade may have been successfully rendered. The artist should likewise consider that careful and discriminating selection will make itself felt in this as in every other description of subject, and must not go out with his camera as to a sort of photographic battle, in which one well-studied picture seems not to be the desideratum, but quantity not quality is sought for. Now, the truth is, that one little bit of well-selected foreground, a bank with a few docks and thistles, with the bright sun-ray glancing from the tufted grass to the ivy-grown stump of the gnarled pollard, is worth a hecatomb of such things. - Lake Prick.
As to the matter of exposure, there can be no rule, - the time of day, the condition of the light and the atmosphere the nature of the sub-ject, the wind, and what not, regulating this matter largely. Always
821. Do not introduce figures into your picture unless they can be made to appear a part of the same, or to belong to the scene. Many a photograph that would have been faultless otherwise, is totally destroyed by the indiscriminate introduction of one or more figures which are entirely out of harmony with the scene, and only mar it. - James Mullen.
If it is desired to produce works of a more artistic character, in which various masses of buildings, at different planes of distance are introduced, less dimensions must be attempted. In some such subjects, as for instance, views of Florence looking down the Arno, of Paris from the Seine, etc.; the want of figures in the picture is not so much felt as when the squares and streets of populous cities are represented; here, if anything approaching the appearance of the originals is to be shown, it can only be by combining in the picture the moving panorama, and not giving a Pompcian aspect to the most crowded and busy thoroughfares. For the first, single or stopped - down double lenses may be employed indifferently; the resulting pictures will be distinguished by the less size and greater definition in those taken with double lenses; for the second double lenses can alone be used. The operator must avoid large masses of shadow, and if skill is shown, pictures of ten by eight inches may be thus obtained, not but that very considerable difficulties must be contended with and overcome; but if a picture of this class of subjects is to be presented to the spectator which shall impress him with the aspect of the original, as seen in nature, it is to this treatment alone we must look for success. - Lake Prick.
822. Time for perfect detail in the shadows; the high - lights will, or ought to, take care of themselves. If they do not, if the resulting photograph gives the middle - and high - lights as one chalky mass of intensity, it is an indication that your chemicals have a radical fault which must be remedied. Your bath is too strong, your collodion too thick or not properly iodized, or some one of the many faults exist which no amount of skill in undertiming or developing can correct. Do not be satisfied with this sort of snow-flake effect. It is certain that, with the simplest of lenses properly stopped down, sufficient exposure, and fall developsecure enough, and if the wind attempts to blow, quickly close the exposure, wait until it is over its unmannerly freak, and then expose again. Often the foreground needs more time than the distance. Regulate this by a hinged flap or shutter on the front of your camera, by means of which the lens may be shaded at will to suit all circumstances.