This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
198. For practice work select an adult, preferably a lady wearing a light waist. Place her under one end of the light; usually on a line with the end of the side-light, and about nine feet from it, will be found most convenient, providing you have sufficient space between the end of the skylight and the wall in which to place the background. With your subject in this position draw down the first opaque shade (directly over the head of the subject) until the right angle of light is obtained. In this be guided by the shadow cast by the nose. When the angle of this shadow runs off to the corner of the mouth, about the right angle has been secured. Next, draw the second shade about two feet less than the first; this serves to assist the first shade in carrying out the angle and to avoid the spreading of light. Then draw the third shade still less than the second.
199. The top-light (the angle of light) has now been controlled. Next, raise the first opaque shade nearest the subject on the side-light. Adjust it to a height sufficient to cut off the strong side-light. The second shade on the sidelight need not be drawn so far, and the third still less, etc. The side-light shades are handled exactly the same as are those for the top-light.
200. Having followed these directions, both the top and side-lights have been controlled. Now, place the diffusing screen between the light and sitter, with all the tan curtains spread out over the frame. Place the screen about midway between the light and the subject. You will observe how this modifies the light and softens the general illumination on the subject. It will have interfered also with the high-lights-flattened them too much. Because of this you must separate the curtains in one space on the top row of the diffusing screen, admitting white light to supply the highest points of light, or catch-lights. This requires an opening of not more than 10 to 12 inches, according to the distance the screen is from the subject. Tip the screen over the subject a trifle; this assists in carrying out the angle of light. If the drapery is too much diffused, place the screen farther from the subject. By adjusting this screen closer or farther from the sitter, you may obtain any effect desired. Should the shadows be a trifle heavy, apply the reflecting screen. Place this screen so that the reflected light will fall more on the front and side than on the rear of the subject (see diagram of floor plan). With this accomplished, turn the face of the subject from the light, so that with the camera three feet distant from the side-light the shadow ear will not show. Then obtain the focus and make the exposure.
201. After making the first exposure, turn the figure slightly from the light, thus throwing the drapery into the shadow, with the light falling over the shoulder. Next, turn the face toward the light, just enough to miss the shadow ear, and make another exposure. With the two exposures you will be able to see the effect of the light on white drapery when facing the light, and also the advantage gained in detail and softness by having the drapery turned from the light, or, in other words, in shadow.
202. For a third exposure turn the face in profile with the figure either facing the light and the face turned from the light, or, turn the figure slightly from the light, with the face toward the light, just enough to obtain a good view of the bridge of the nose, excluding the eyebrow of the shadow eye. This will bring the forehead well into prominence, and yet give a profile view of the face.
203. In profile work you may find it necessary to admit a larger volume of white light than was required for Plain Portrait pictures, as the face is broader in profile than when a front or nearly front view is made. Therefore, the curtains on the top row of the screen must be separated a trifle more when making profile pictures.
204. After having made all three exposures, develop the plates according to instruction for Universal Developing (see Volume II). After they are dry make quite solid proof prints from all of them, so as to reproduce in the proof all the quality there is in the negative. Note on the back of each print all data pertaining to their production, such as the lighting, arranging of the screens, exposure, etc., filing them in your proof file for future reference. Should you meet with any difficulty in producing the results, refer to the Difficulty Department, where will be found preventative and remedy.