210 The best form and pitch of the studio is not agreed upon universally. A great many plans have been given in the magazines. The annexed drawing is one of many which have appeared in the Philadelphia Photographer from time to time, and represents a good model throughout. The pitch is about forty-five degrees, and it is what is known as a " low" one. Undoubtedly a low, long room gives the operator more advantages than a high, short one. If the light is long, it can readily be shortened by means of screens, and it is often an advantage to have it long. If it is steep, it will undoubtedly diffuse the light more than a low one, and, therefore, be more difficult to manage - perhaps slower as well.
210. A steep light, about fifty degrees incline, extending to within five feet of the floor, and not less than fifteen by fifteen feet square, is probably a form of light more easily worked and with better results than any other, for small groups and single figures. Such a light is always from the right direction, and even a novice in lighting would scarce find difficulty in producing very acceptable pictures. Lights are often constructed with the top-light inclining toward the position usually occupied by the camera, giving, of course, more front-light than in the usual plan where the incline is toward the side-light. Such form of light may be in a few exceptional cases of benefit, but in the majority of sittings a disadvantage, because the tendency to make a flat picture is sure, and in many instances to entirely destroy the delicate modeling which indicates the form of the forehead. There is so much of character in this feature, that the preservation of it is of very great importance in finishing a characteristic and artistic picture. - L. G. Bigklow.
It must be strictly borne in mind that light in striking glass is diverged; it does not travel in parallel rays. You will find it out in practice; it is good in theory, but not good in practice. That is my objection to it. Those who think a steep light does not work quickly are much mistaken. - "W. H. Lockwood.
A few years ago I moved into rooms having a side- and top-light, the lowest point of which was fourteen feet from the floor. I found it to be quite unmanageable, and went to the expense of putting in a second sash eight feet from the floor, glazed with ground-glass. This was an improvement, with the objection of too much loss of light on cloudy days. I have now taken this second sash out, and substituted a double set of curtains, blue and white, made to slide on wiresstretched lengthwise of the room, with the lowest set seven feet from the floor. They are one yard wide, and can be drawn, of course, to the extreme size of light, or shut up so as to admit but a small portion of light on the sitter, the rest of the room being in quite a deep shade. I find this a great improvement, besides being easier for the sitter; the negatives are much more excellent with no more exposure. - A. Marshall.
211. As has already been said, the site which photographer is compelled to choose, must, in a measure, regulate the construction of his studio. Enough has heen said to Supply ideal for the building of almost any form, and suit almost any circumstances. It is a matter which should have the most careful thought, for, remember, it is your means of living, and should not be stinted in any degree. Some photographers think the reception - room should have the first consideration; but it is a blunder. The operating room is where the money, and the reputation, and the work which brings them, are made, and it should be well built and well furnished, even if the other departments have to be robbed to support it. Give it your best consideration.
211. I have drawn a hastily prepared sketch of a skylight that I think would be superior to anything I have seen. I think its advantages are these: First, being low, it will work soft and quick; the first slant of the glass roof being at an angle of only twenty degrees, it brings the highest point near the sitter. Second, the second slant being at an angle of sixty degrees, it shuts out the sun's rays, and gives a fine illumination upon the sitter at an angle of fifty or si degrees, and in the exterior drawing it will be seen that the corners of the roof being cut off or slanted back from the light, gives full scope for all the light obtainable. Of course, the light would have to be boxed in, to secure a ceiling, which I have represented at an angle of forty - five degrees. It seems to me to have less faults than any construction 1 have ever tried, though it may not be free from faults. - C. M. French. 11
212. The greatest of all trials in skylight building is the proneness to leak. Sashes of peculiar construction, guttered sash - bars, and inside gut-ten have all been used, and all are good. Guard against the trouble thoroughly in the beginning, if you would avoid annoyance. It can be done - do it.
213. Finally, protection against the sun at such certain times of day as when it shines too directly upon the top-light, and from damage by hail. When a flood of direct light comes upon the top of the glass - house, at it is apt to do in the longer days, no system or amount of screening or curtaining is sufficient to prevent the annoyance which it gives. You never know when it is going to trouble you the most. It destroys all your calculations, gives trouble to your sitter as well, and is an endless aggravation. Wholesale shading only will prevent it, and for this outside screens are the best. For the prevention of damage by hail, wire cloth with large meshes may be placed over the entire glass portion, but some light must be lost. As to these difficulties, the best ideas will be found in the notes below.