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.
355. Very beautiful, sketchy effects can be produced with the shoulders daintily draped. Some subjects lend themselves to the making of much more attractive photographs with shoulders draped in the simplest fashion, than when gowned in the most handsome manner. With simple drapery all the interest is centered in the face of the subject, the drapery assisting in carrying out the lines of the face. By the arrangement of drapery much can be done in correcting bad lines and improving the general contour of the face and shoulders.
Goods To Use For Draping. Chiffon veiling, either a pink or a delicate Nile-green shade, is the best material to employ. Other soft, fluffy goods may be used, but none are as suitable as chiffon, nor are they so well adapted for draping. A liberal quantity of this veiling, usually from 2 1/2 to 3 yards of the goods, should be provided. In some cases ordinary cheese-cloth may be employed, but as a rule this goods lays too flat, and the airy, fluffy effect peculiar to chiffon is not obtainable.
357. Illustration No. 35 presents a figure draped with cheese-cloth. For this particular figure the cheese-cloth appears quite satisfactory. In draping this subject the cloth was folded in the center, the draping being commenced by placing the folded end of the goods in the corset cover at the back of the subject. One end of the drapery was brought to the right, the other to the left, meeting at the front, one slightly overlapping the other. The cloth was arranged to fall in delicate folds, and in lighting the subject the diffusing screen was worked quite close to the sitter, the curtains being separated sufficiently to supply catch-lights to the drapery.
858. Illustration No. 36 shows a subject posed in Rembrandt style of lighting. The waist has been removed entirely, leaving only the corset cover, the arms being bare. The drapery was carefully gathered around the subject, the shoulder facing the camera being left bare. The balance of the figure required no draping, as the flow of hair falling about the neck excluded the remainder of the figure from view. The drapery beneath the hair is the corset cover itself, which blended so nicely with the chiffon that there was no need to cover it. To show as much of the neck as possible, making a place for the flow of hair, the subject was inclined toward the camera, with the head directed away from it. This gave space for a more natural fall of the hair over the shoulder.
359. In Illustration No. 37 is presented a different arrangement of drapery. In this case the drapery was arranged in a V-shape, one of the most simple forms of draping. In draping this subject the chiffon was folded in the center, the folded end tucked into the corset cover in the back of the subject, and one part brought over the right shoulder, with the end resting on the lap. The other end of the drapery was draped over the left shoulder, in a like manner, overlapping the first. To avoid a decided V-line, a portion of the drapery beneath the top fold was brought across the V-point, thus breaking the angle. The drapery is then vignetted close with the vignetter attached to the camera. By causing the subject to lean slightly forward, tipping the head a little to one side, a sharp focus to the face was obtained, leaving the drapery slightly fuzzy, thus giving a mere suggestion of drapery with no definite design.
360. Illustration No. 38 presents a combination of drapery portraits, different views of the face of the same subject, also showing the arrangement of drapery. The drapery is arranged the same for all different positions, the only change being in the posing. The drapery of this subject was arranged by first folding the drapery in the middle and tucking the folded end into the corset cover, at the back of the subject. The drapery was then drawn loosely around the shoulders from both sides and gathered in a small loop at the front, a large pin piercing the loop to hold it in place. After tying the loop, the drapery was readjusted, being drawn away from the shoulder in an irregular manner to make it appear soft and fluffy, at the same time arranging it in light folds. In lighting the subject, the illumination on the drapery was kept down by means of the diffusing screen which was placed quite close to the subject; and the catch-lights were obtained by separating the curtains on this screen but a few inches, admitting just sufficient direct light to supply small highlights to the drapery.
Illustration No. 37. Portrait-Draped V-shaped.
See Paragraph No. 359.
Illustration No. 38. Combination of Drapery Portraits.
See Paragraph No. 360.
361. In Illustration No. 39 is presented two styles of drapery suitable for children. Fig. 1 shows a very easy natural position for a child to assume. The drapery in this case was arranged loosely about the child, with one portion falling over the shoulder and resting in the foreground on the table, while the other end was brought around beneath the arm and across the body in a fluffy, careless way. With one hand supporting the head and the other arm buried in the drapery, with the fingers clasped about the left arm, the subject is leaned forward, permitting of sharp focusing and allowing the drapery to blend off fuzzy and diffused, thus supplying an abundance of atmosphere and more suggestion of drapery.
362. In Fig. 2 a different arrangement of the drapery and an entirely different pose of the subject is illustrated. In this instance the chiffon is simply wound loosely about the waist of the subject and gathered in the foreground upon the table, with the arms partially buried in the drapery. With the subject leaning forward over the table, and the arm in a graceful curve, the hand resting on the breast gives a good view of the arm and does not obstruct the profile view of the face. With the right hand clasped about the left arm the straight line of the elbow is broken, the position of this hand assisting in giving the subject a restful and natural position.
363. In Illustration No. 40 is shown a series of child drapery portraits, which will give excellent suggestions both for arrangement of drapery and for hand posing.
364. With all drapery portraits the principal consideration, after the drapery is arranged, is to key and control the light so as to hold down the drapery and supply even gradation of softness throughout the portrait. Where black drapery is employed, a more open and front light is permissible than for light drapery. The diffusing screen can be worked at a greater distance from the subject and a more open light employed. Usually light drapery produces the best results, as it yields much softer results in the making of drapery portraits. Give full exposure, if possible, and where sufficient exposure can be given the special development for white drapery should be employed.