It is necessary in illustration 29 to produce lights above and around the head and to re-enforce the lighting of the face. The shape of a window with landscape effect offers an excuse for these lights, - Fig. 30. Delicate toned gradations are needed to render them. The process by which this is accomplished is as follows:
Upon the glass side of the negative a very delicate tone is laid with Medium B, extending over the face and all the section to be occupied by the window. The thickness of the application is varied in the face and the hair, in the woodwork of the sill, in the sky and wherever there is light. Using a piece of soft wood, dark lines were made by scraping away the medium, and the eyes were treated in a similar manner.
From this negative a positive was made, and the outcome of our manipulations showed a beautifully engraved plate, that was photographic yet delightfully alive, combining the accuracy of a negative with the artistic work by the trained hand. Who would venture to place a limit to the pictorial inventions made practicable by this method? For instance, the positive is as well adapted to modifications as is the negative. The positive, therefore, must be carefully studied, that we may read the densities correctly. Referring back to photograph 29, with the intention of working out the pictorial problem, we find by the densities in the positive that the ear, collar, certain portions of the background, and some parts of the figure would print too light. We thereupon apply thinly Medium B. The pictorial effect now being satisfactory, a final negative is made from our positive. It will be noticed that the use of Medium B on the positive produced darks in the second negative, - a result to be gained on the original negative only by the use of Medium A. Indeed there is a characteristic in the darks produced by Medium B on the positive that makes it a peculiarly facile method for artistic expression. By its use, form-rich background delineations easily flow from our brush points. How great a range for control of the artistic effects is offered in this second method becomes evident when we find that on a second negative we are still empowered to change the light and dark, if we find alterations advisable, simply by again using Process No. I. In the hands of a trained artist, Process No. II should be productive of fine results.
Photograph 118 was developed into the portrait 119 by manipulation as follows: The starved conditions in the plain negative were overcome by playing a very thin oily touch in a somewhat circular movement over the background. This destroyed the metallic quality of the photograph, giving it some effect of color. Medium B was then applied more thickly near the flesh and worked over into the face and bust. The stroke faithfully followed the modelling of these forms and was thoroughly studied for its densities. The hair was re-enforced in movements in harmony with the fine flow of its forms, and the hat received elaborate brush work. In the draperies, the effect of ermine grew out of the brush stroke, thus; after the section had been covered with Medium B, a small brush was cleaned and applied dry, thereby removing enough of the medium to produce the spots of black. With another brush high lights were added by using more of the paint. The positive made from this negative is very complete; however, a little roundness was given to the shoulders, neck, and face by painting lightly on the glass side of the positive, then, turning to the film side, a very fine-pointed brush was charged with Medium B and accents were given to the lines of the mouth, nose, the pupil of the eye, its lashes and eyebrows, in the hair and about the hat. The negative made from this positive is very vigorous.
Figures 118 and 119 explained.
Transformation of Fig. 112 into an artistic work requires the elimination of the floor line. The retention of this line resulted from a desire to help the photographer in overcoming frequent annoying problems common to the operating room. The energetic application of Medium A on the negative obliterated the line. The obstruction being removed, the foreground was made light by Medium B, and the medium was applied in the area from the shoulder upward to the right, producing the effect of a curtain hung immediately behind the figure. The positive from this negative foretold that the final result would be too gray. It was thought desirable to repress all light except in the face and neck. The method pursued on the positive was to cover the whole glass side rather thickly with Medium B, leaving clear glass in the face only. The final negative showed the effects of this reduction admirably. To soften the extreme blacks, we resorted to Medium B on the second negative.
Figure 113 explained.
The pictorial quality of Fig. 115 has been attained through the use of Medium B. Applied thickly on the first negative it formed the sash. On the positive made from this negative, the sash appeared as a blank irregular mass into which delicate painting brought definition. By applying Medium B upon this positive, the dress was toned, the edges softened, and folds were created in sympathy with the general effect. A very complete ensemble resulted, leaving no balancing to be done on the second negative.
The negative, positive, and second negative used to make Fig. 123 contained brush work of considerable skill. The monotony of the dark in the first negative's background was lifted by a generous use of Medium B. Some oil mixed with the pigment added delicacy and flow in the darks, while in the light parts the medium was used rather dry. It will be observed that every stroke was made to convey its full quota of meaning, and care was taken to maintain the character of each, although modifications were admitted. The leaf forms at the right of the sitter's shoulder were created by wiping out the Medium B. The positive made from this negative is a beautiful and exceedingly emotional engraving. The plate is noteworthy for the quality of the lines, their accenting and their breaking. Notice how these affect the expression of the face. Medium B, worked upon the positive, is especially adapted for reducing such glaring whites as those of the dress and hat. The crisp touches of light and the modelling of the face were brought about by treatment with Medium B on the second negative.
Figure 115 explained.
Figure 123 explained.
The results reached in Fig. 123 show that photography has resources for expression rivalling those of the graphic arts. Practice will soon point to the desirability of keeping much space about the figure, thus offering an opportunity for rich background inventions. These balancing features will add dignity and importance to the figure and will make an impressive whole composition.
The first impulse of the conservative photographer, whether professional or amateur, may be to reject the processes set forth in this treatise, putting them under the ban of "illegitimate." If we examine into these very possible and even probable doubts, naturally entertained by men unaccustomed to invention, we can allay the distrust awakened by the facts that the formula for reducing has been a favorite one, and the pigment for making "light' has been employed in one form or another for a considerable time. That a new use of either of these customary helps has been found effective in carrying photography over the line of the purely mechanical into the domain of reason, harmony, beauty, — in short, into the creative field, is certainly no cause for alarm. The mediums by animating the whole picture surface intensify the effect from likeness to life-likeness.
The processes as here given cover the problems contained in the book, but it can easily be perceived that they may be extended, and that their most effective field is to be disclosed when more subtle problems shall be demanded by the profession and the public.