In describing our method for making this style lighting we shall consume but very little space, as we have in previous chapters described our light and operating room. While we shall not be so long in describing this lighting as we have some of the foregoing lightings, yet it is one that is especially attractive, from the fact that a sitter is so rare of which it can be made. There are two reasons why this particular style of sitter is rare. First, it requires an exceptionally fine profile. Second, most of our patrons want a strong likeness, with just a degree of flattery, or more or less intensity thrown in. In this lighting the likeness or character is not brought out as distinctly as in some of the other lightings. As before mentioned, to make this lighting so it will show to the best advantage, we must have an exceptionally fine profile, as the light is drawn to so fine a line on the face as to appear almost to have been drawn with a pen or pencil.
Place the background directly against the side light, and running parallel with it, and the sitter about five feet in advance of it, with back towards the ground. The camera must stand facing towards the side light. Your top light, if of ground glass, must be left open, unless it is desired to have the line very sharp, and decided, when all of the curtains on the top light should be drawn down about half way. If of clear glass, use diffusing curtains all over it. All the curtains on the side light should be pulled all the way to the top. Now turn the sitter's head away from the camera until a full profile is obtained. Use your opaque head screen to divide the light and shadow until you secure only a very fine line of light clown the face, as shown in our illustration. You will notice a strong light on the head and both the shoulders. Of course in making this lighting you will be facing your light with your camera, and are liable to have your plate fogged from the light striking your lens. Therefore, you should provide yourself with a hood for your lens. A careful examination of the image on the ground glass will reveal the presence of this reflection or fog if it exists, by showing a bluish haze, and especially in the heavier shadows, in which there will be no detail if such fog is present. You should also use a side reflector of a gray tint; white is too glaring. The side reflector should be placed about six or eight feet from the sitter, and drawn close up to the camera, to prevent a reflected light from appearing just under the ear, as that part of the face should be in the deepest shadow. By following these simple directions and with a careful selection of sitters, you will have no trouble in making what is called the "Line-Light." Again we wish to say to our readers, Do not use a yard stick in following our directions for making these lightings. The object we have is to give you some idea as to how to proceed, but we do not pretend to say our way is the only way. But what we do say is, we have tried these directions and found them successful, hence feel no hesitancy in presenting them to you for your consideration. But we do not wish you to stop with our description of the light. Go further, become original. Study your light and learn to work it as that particular light should be worked, for there are no two lights that work the same, and no two operators that work a light the same. Therefore, with the directions I have given you, go to work and see if you cannot improve on them, for your light may need different handling from mine.
An Example of Line Lighting.