This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
276. It was in the year 1898 that Professor Griffiths, Director of the Detroit Art Museum, in a lecture before the Photographers' Association of America, during their annual convention held at Chautauqua Lake, advocated a lower key of lighting. During the following year, as a result of that lecture, what is known as the "Low Key Lighting" was introduced. Numerous exhibits were presented, possessing softer high-lights, but with dense, black shadows. The radical change from the conventional style was so great that the pictures exhibited were really freaky, and were frequently referred to as examples of freak photography.
277. The following year William M. Hollinger, of New York, in his exhibit, presented a happy medium between the two extremes. The work was received with a great deal of enthusiasm and at once established a standard of tone which many professionals have since tried to uphold. Hence our reason for naming this style of illumination, "Hollinger Lighting."
278. "Hollinger," or "Low Key Lighting," is a lighting made up principally of half-tones, with delicate catch-lights and soft shadows. The extreme of this style of lighting is soft high-lights with a mass of dense, black shadows-the latter we do not recommend, as it is "freaky." (For correct lighting see Illustration No. 23.)
279. This so-called "Freak Photography" has been the cause of an immense amount of inferior work by professional men, who, having adopted the "Low Key Lighting," plunged to greatest extremes, thus classing their of the Low Key methods, with the result that today this style of work is what all the "up-to-the-minute " photographers are trying to produce.
work among the "freaky." With all their faults, though, these men have advanced the art one step higher.
280. Conservative professional men, like Hollinger, and others, being quick to recognize the good qualities of this style, drew a line between the old and the extremes
Illustration No. 25. Hollinger Lighting - Floor Plan.
See Paragraph No. 283.
281. Although the Hollinger Lighting belongs to the Low Key style, it is not " freaky." It gives extremely pleasing results and truthfully reproduces the likeness of the individual. For portraits of men there is no stronger or more effective form of lighting, as the character of the subject is brought out in the best possible manner.
Upper Illustration No. 23 See Paragraph No. 278.
Lower Illustration No. 24 See Paragraph No. 284
Hollinger Lighting-View of Room
Illustration No. 26. Example of Hollinger Lighting.
See Paragraph No. 284.
282. While this lighting may be produced in any key, the medium tone is to be recommended.
283. For this style of work it is necessary to use an open, or nearly open, skylight. Referring to Illustration No. 25, you will see the arrangement and the position in which the subject and various accessories are placed. The operating room should have at least from four to six feet of space beyond either end of the light. If, however, the room is short and the skylight is built very near one end of the room, thereby not allowing sufficient space for the background, the proper space can be supplied by drawing one of the opaque shades down the entire length of the light, if your light is a single-slant. If a hip-light, draw one of the top shades to the top of the side-light, and then the side shade from the bottom to the top of the side-light. This will be of material aid, as it will reduce the size of the light the width of this shade. Placing the background directly under the light would strongly illuminate it and cause the background effect to appear coarse, harsh and wiry, instead of soft and diffused as it should be.