1. The one thing which the photographer needs most to consider with greatest care, is the treatment of the subject which comes before him.
This he cannot always select; and he has but little time, as a usual thing, to study it, and to decide which is the better way to treat it. The chemicals are all right, and are sure not to disappoint him. Of his manipulatory success he is certain. The camera is at his service, but needs handling with care. The arrangement of the subject, the introduction of back - ground and accessories, the management of the light and shade as well, the harmonizing of the whole so as to produce the best pictorial effect, are the things most apt to puzzle and even baffle him. Let us then consider this part of our subject first.
1. Again, whether the photographer can be called an artist or not, to obtain the highest success he must have something of the education and feeling of an artist. He must know what is beautiful when he sees it, and he must understand in what true beauty and grace in the human figure consist. I have seen many photographs with many capital points about them - good light and shade and general arrangement, the face well done, and the drapery rather good; but, looking under that drapery, as it were, it was quite impossible to judge whether a human being with limbs existed or not. The artist, whether painter or sculptor, more especially the latter, would not tolerate this, and the photographer should remember that the form of the human figure should be seen to exist within the drapery, giving the picture vitality and character. Any photographer may, by happy chance, occasionally produce a good picture, but nce will not enable him oft to repeat it. I have sometimes conceived a picture, for the means to embody which I have had to wait for years; but as
I could see my picture in my mind, I knew at once when the possible or suitable modal for it was accessible to me, and so seized the opportunity, and got what I wanted. O. G. Rejlander.
2. There is no cause for despair, no reason for faltering in this deli-cate and difficult portion of our art's work. We may learn to "produce beauty by rule." Before photography was born, art was. It was agreed by its masters that it should be governed by certain laws or principles, which were to hold good in all its departments and in all their phases. Poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture, dancing, all fell into line, and accepted these principles at once, in the production of the delights which everlastingly come to us from them.
3. Young photography, therefore, if it would take its place among the arts, must willingly bury its indifference, and come into the procession under the rules which govern its members, or as many of them as apply to it. What these rules are, it will be the purpose of the paragraphs which follow to explain.and illustrate.
The department of portraiture will be given the first attention, for what
2. For my own part, I lose sight of considerations as to the mechanical appliances, except so far as they require to be accommodated to the necessities of the picture. The rough instrument ceases to exist for me, absorbed as I am by the idea of reproducing my ideal. "Where there is a will there is a way. In photography, as in art, when the sentiment is energetic, it can never be sterile. - Adam Salomon.
In learning the rules for composition, as in all other departments of art, the artist must study nature to find his fundamental principles, and in doing so, he will learn, that in accordance to this law of unity of the mind, but one feeling or sentiment is directly and decidedly addressed by any one production of nature. Flowers having the strongest perfume, like the orange, jasmine, and lilac, are either white, or most delicately tinted. In the charms displayed by the gorgeous lilies and tulips, the eye alone is gratified. Brilliant birds are never great singers. People who are regularly beautiful are not gifted with strong mental capacity; for, according to the laws of harmony, strength of character is too decidedly marked in the physical development, to admit of the delicacy that is essential to regular beauty. We find every degree of strength and beauty, every variety of element, and every possible variety of combination in the human form and character; and, according to the law of harmony that pervades life, we also find that the intermediate combination, that serves to unite and harmonize the two extremes, partaking alike of the character of both, is never wanting. - M. A. Dwight.
3. There has always been much declamation about the fault-finding tendency in our customers, but consider where we would stand to-day if nobody had ever found fault with our work. Some of our patrons possibly know nearly as much about good effects as the best of us; at any rate, by trying to see what, and as they see, we shall more fully understand the subject by getting it in a new aspect.
A too much neglected means of advancement is here. The aim should be not solely to please, but to please with the best work. It can be depended on to win in the end. In fact, every one now knows something about pictures, so no one's opinion should be entirely ignored. Good chromos, good autotypes, good engravings, good paintings, good photoapplies to it will also be of service in the management of all classes.
4. The reproduction of the human body, so to speak, is the most alted reach of our art Man is made by God "after His own image" All the other arts imitate man in their creations. Poetry sings of loves and passions; music mimics his songs o f praise, and repeats his woful wails; the painter never tires of delineating his figure, of representing his life, or depicting his beauties; sculpture immortalizes him; the architect constructs his grand creations in form after the human figure and dancing moulds his graces into the poetry of motion, thus creating and completing a ring of faithful delineators of human splendors, all bound by the principles of art They express for humanity its ideas; they render its sentiments; they toll its stories; they imitate it in all phases, for the enjoyment of its members.