These papers are prepared more especially for that class of workers known as the Amateurs. There are numbers throughout the country, who have invested quite a little amount in a camera and various accessories, and after obtaining them have found it wholly impossible to secure any instruction in making pictures of the home folks, save those of a very meager nature. In the following I wish to lay down a few rules for the guidance of those thus situated. But like all rules, there are exceptions to them; and for that reason the beginner must use great judgment and not expect the first few attempts to be brilliant successes. I once had a correspondent who had read a few of my articles in one of the magazines, say to me, "I have followed your directions for making window photographs strictly to the letter, and have used five 4x5 plates, and have not yet secured a perfect negative. Ye shades of Sarony, how long did it take you to make what you would call a perfect negative?
I have heard scores of amateurs say they cannot expect to make as good lightings as the professional for the reason that they have no skylights. This is a wrong idea. It matters not what style of light you may have, as good work can be made by it as by the most perfect skylight in existence. The light you have may have its limitations, as for instance, you may have to work by an ordinary house window. If this be so, it will not be possible to make large groups and full length pictures. But for ordinary "bust" work, this source of light may be used as successfully as any other. The first thing to be learned in lighting the face, is the principles of lighting and a close study of the chapters in the front of this book, will, I am sure, aid you in this respect. In fact all of the preceding chapters will be of much interest to the amateur. It is my purpose, however, to give directions for curtaining an ordinary house window and the use of it.
In these directions I will explain how to secure five separate and distinct effects by this window. In all other works on the subject of window portraiture, I have never seen more than one effect of lighting attempted and that was what professionals commonly call "broad lighting" or "plain lighting." The effects I will explain are known as Broad Lighting, Rembrandt, Front Shadow, All Shadow and Line Lighting, all of which can be easily secured by any window after the close study of the principles of lighting. In order to make the directions more clear, I will show halftone reproductions of the various lightings.