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.
Use Of Opaque Screen. You must place an opaque screen, which may be a small background (even the diffusing screen, with black curtains drawn, will do), between the camera and subject, in front of, and about five feet distant from, the latter. (See Illustration No. 28.) This screen should be drawn as close to the range of the lens as possible, without cutting into the angle of view. It is used for the purpose of cutting off the flood of light from the side of the face you desire to be in slight shadow, thereby supplying soft shadows and giving general roundness to the portrait. In the case of a profile pose the opaque screen cuts off sufficient strong light to round off the profile of the front of the face with delicate mellow shadows.
Background. Frequently the side wall of the room may be used as a background Walls finished in figured paper, or natural wood, are hardly suitable. However, in some cases a plain painted background may be used -a pure white is especially effective in some profile poses, yet for ordinary purposes a dark ground is to be preferred. Sketchy effects may be easily produced with a plain tinted paper, or plastered wall, by hanging a small picture on the background, adjusted to the style of pose and the size of subject. This would be out of place for a bust portrait, but for three-quarter lengths, or full figures, it is quite effective, even if a plain canvas background be used.
Position Of Camera. The camera is placed with its back against the side-light. For a profile it is wheeled a trifle to one side of the center; for a two-thirds view of the face it must be moved to the side following the direction the subject is facing, while for a front view the camera will need to be placed almost diagonally across the light, in order to obtain some shadows on the face. While the camera is placed at an angle across the light, the face is turned at a still greater angle from the source of light; thereby supplying high-lights and shadows, but presenting almost a front view to the camera. Observe the rules in regard to the height of the camera, etc., which are the same as in the instructions given for other lightings.
Diagrams Illustrating This Light. In the diagram of floor plan, Illustration No. 29, we present the exact location of camera and subject, also the position of the opaque screen for making our illustration of the profile position. In Illustration No. 30 is illustrated the proper positions for making different views of the face. Observe in this diagram of floor plan, Illustration No. 30, the location of the camera and the direction of the face, in relation to the light, for different views of the subject. The arrow on the circle indicates the direction of the nose.
See Paragraph No. 329.
Illustration No. 32. Example of Schriever Lighting.
See Paragraph No. 333.
DR. SAMUEL CHEW Study No. 19-See Page 578, Vol. VI1I Meredith Janvier.
330. Position No. 1 in Illustration No. 30 gives a three-fourths view of the face, the camera being placed on a line with the window casing (a). Position No. 2 gives a full face view, the camera remaining in the same location as for No. 1.
Illustration No. 30. Schriever Lighting (Front View of Face) Floor Plan.
See Paragraph No. 329.