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.
Portrait Vignetter. A vignetter is an attachment fitted to the camera, by means of which we can cut off or vignette away any portions of the figure not wanted in the picture. It is usually employed for bust work, and principally for ladies' portraits in which the figure below the waist is vignetted or gradually blended away.
92. There are various kinds of vignetters, but all work on the same principle. A very simple device will be found in the "Ingento" vignetter. This instrument is attached to the top edge of the camera stand, and is manipulated entirely from the back of the camera, while the operator observes the subject on the ground-glass, until the blending is entirely satisfactory. The Ingento Vignetter is adapted to movements forward, backward, up and down; it tips to the right or left, and can be slanted out or in to any degree. (See Illustration No. 5.)
Using The Vignetter. It is quite essential, when using the vignetter, to regulate the slant of the card vig-nctting-board so the tone of the card will blend nicely with the background. The card is painted on both sides-one side pure white, the other almost black. The white side is used for vignetting on white grounds, and black for vignetting on dark grounds. By tipping the vignetter to different angles the proper tone to match the background is obtained. It is always advisable to calculate on the vignetter appearing a little darker in color than the background, because the vignetter is more fully illuminated with the broader light than the subject, consequently a fuller exposure is given the vignetting card than the subject. Thus the card will print a trifle lighter than it appeared on the ground-glass, so allowance must be made.
Illustration No. 7. Posing Chair.
See Paragraph No. 95.
Head Screen. A head screen of the type similar to the one shown in Illustration No. 6, often times is of service in diffusing certain portions of the figure; while with a piece of opaque material, such as black cloth or even paper, thrown over the screen, it is possible to blend and control the light to an unlimited degree.
Posing Chair. A posing chair for bust work should be plain. It should have a revolving seat that can be raised or lowered and clamped in the desired position. The back should be adjustable, both vertically and horizontally. The back of the chair should be sufficiently narrow not to show beyond the figure. The regular posing chairs, such as the one shown in Illustration No. 7, are excellent for this purpose, and may be secured at any supply house, or from a regular furniture dealer.
Head Rest. The use of the head rest in some instances is almost indispensable. If judiciously used it will give sitters more confidence, and they will rest easier. If crowded onto the head its use will cause a stiff appearance. All nervous people require a head rest to avoid moving. The head rest must be substantial and easily adjusted.