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.
Styles Of Lighting. Some subjects appear to best advantage in a Broad Lighting, while others seem perfectly adapted to the Rembrandt style of lighting. Beginning at the shoulders, the light should gradually decrease in strength, the lower portion of the figure being in more subdued light. Exercise care, however, that there are no harsh lines at any point, always showing a diffusion between lights and shades. There should be a gradual blending, with no abruptness in any of the tones.
410. When white drapery is being photographed, the Rembrandt type of lighting will, as a rule, be most suitable. By having the light fall on the subject - especially on the drapery - more from the side, bright catch-lights will be formed and delicate shadows appear in the depth of the folds, so that brilliancy will exist. Care must be taken that the light is not too hard, however, as in that case light drapery will appear chalky. Where the drapery is very dark, especially when photographing men, the light should be thrown into the shadows as much as possible, in order to obtain some detail. This will assist also in reducing the required amount of exposure.
Lighting Dark Drapery. Observe the light carefully as it falls on the subject. For subjects in dark drapery use a more open light and make free use of the reflecting screen. The shadows in black drapery require illumination, and the snap and contrast obtained by arranging the drapery in folds to receive a catch-light produces the needed high-lights and shadows.
412. Another important feature in connection with lighting the drapery for full figures, where black drapery is employed, is to turn the subject with the drapery facing the light, when the folds of the drapery alone supply the shadows.
Lighting Light Drapery. For white drapery it is best to arrange the subject with the drapery in the shadow, the light from the sky illuminating the folds of the gown and producing the required snap.
414. After the lighting has been arranged satisfactorily make the exposure. Observe the circumstances connected with making each lighting and note the results after developing. Were they as you expected? Was your contrast too great, or not strong enough? A few experiments will supply you with a key to the situation, which will serve as a guide in the future.
415. Always observe the circumstances pertaining to the making of portrait sittings, carefully studying the negative after it has been developed. In this way your experiments will be of great benefit to yourself, and within a short time your results will be of a most satisfactory character. Aim to work along one particular line, introducing into your portraits your own individuality, which will grow and become stronger with each succeeding day's work.
Developing. We advise using the Universal Developing Formula given in Volume II for all work, except subjects gowned in white drapery. For this, the formula given in instruction for Special Development of White Drapery is recommended. Make a few negatives in different styles of posing, with subjects gowned in white drapery, exposures to be of various lengths. Those exposed normally, develop with Universal Developer; those exposed specially (giving longer exposure), develop with special formula for developing white drapery. Carefully observe the conditions under which you have performed the work and after developing the plates, note the difference in the quality of the plates developed, specially over those developed by the Universal Developing Formula.