This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
WE hardly know which is of greater interest this month, the pictures or the man who made them. Mr. Charles L. Peck is rather an unusual example of the man who loves photography. He took up the work immediately after leaving college, has been photographing people for over twenty years and is more enthusiastic today than when he began.
On the face of it this might not seem remarkable but when one knows how Mr. Peck works the above facts are much more interesting. He has owned several studios but for the last seven or eight years has devoted himself entirely to home portraiture having given up his studio for work rooms at his home.
We do not say it with authority but we believe he prefers such an arrangement because the more commercial aspects of the profession do not appeal to him. He is a great student of the painters and the influence of the masters of the brush is readily seen in his work. In fact he has lately taken up the painting of his photographs with oils finding a very good market for such pictures. His technique lends itself especially well to such work and he finds the Old Master surface of Vitava Athena paper splendidly adapted to this process.
Our illustrations are all from 8 x 10 and 11 x 14 contact prints but Mr. Peck's original negatives are all made on 5 x 7 Portrait Film. From these small negatives he makes larger positives which are backed up with ground celluloid and worked up with crayon. It is here he has the opportunity of producing effects that make one think of the old masters of the brush.
The backgrounds he works in are exquisite, and there is just a touch here and there to draperies, only enough to make them fit into the backgrounds but never enough to destroy their original texture.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
By Charles L. Peck Buffalo, N. Y.
The background has more to do with the effectiveness of the picture than many photographers imagine and it is easy to see how much more certain one can be of effects when the background is worked in on a positive.
"Too much trouble," you say. and we agree with you, so far as that type of work where costs must be held down is concerned. But Mr. Peck does not boast of big production. We assume also that his prices permit him to go through these extra processes to obtain the results he works for.
From his finished positive he makes a new negative from which his contact prints are produced and it would be difficult for anyone to detect any loss of quality in this duplicate negative.
When one also considers that all of Mr. Peck's work is made in the homes of his patrons it seems even more remarkable, for his lightings are beautifully balanced and full of tonal quality. He uses both electric and flashlight and often combines one of these with daylight, as occasion demands, but seems to be master of all of them.
It would not be fair to the man to end this sketch without mention of the fact that he is also a pic-torialist of more than ordinary note. Portraiture may be his business but pictorial work is his pastime. And any portraitist who enjoys spending his leisure hours with a camera, working purely for the love of the work must also have more than a mercenary interest in the portraiture which is the product of his profession.
We think Mr. Peck's portraits not only have the interest of paintings but that they outdo the painter's portraits because they are truthful in drawing as well as beautiful in technique.