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.
Study No. 9, "The Bridge," by J. H. Field. Only an artist would have selected this point of view for a picture of this bridge. The abutment in the foreground being upright, vertical, emphasizes by contrast the horizontal line of the bridge span. The length of this span is emphasized by the highlight at the extreme end of the bridge, which attracts and fixes the attention. As a rule, the salient features of bridge construction are always the supports at either end. One feels that this bridge is adequately supported, even though the further support is hidden from view. The ugliness of the stone abutment in the foreground is softened, perhaps, by the overhanging vine that produces a decorative effect in the picture. (See Page 91.)
Study No. 43, "A Dull October Day," by John Chislet. This photograph is a good example of fine technical work in picture making. By using a large stop and lessening the degree of definition on the nearer parts of the picture, the artist has suggested distances. The foreground, the middle distance, the horizon line and sky, are all equally interesting and relatively distant from each other. The repetition of the sky line reflected in the water spaces below, illustrates the balance of light and shade and gives an effect of breadth to the picture. There is an agreeable absence of sharp definition that has softened the picture down without going to the extreme. (See Page 284.)
Study No. 21, "Departing Day," by George H. Scheer,
M. D. This picture gives an impressive effect of lights and darks. The source of light here is the setting sun, already sunk below the horizon. The general impression is a preponderance of darks over lights, while the strongest light is only represented by a bit of sky. The sharp juxtaposition of the extreme ends of the scale tends of course to suppress the more delicate gradations and to do away with the middle tones altogether. By trimming half an inch from the foreground one concentrates interest on the open gates over the crest of the hill, through which the sun has crowded down to rest. (See Page 198.)
Study No. 15, "The Edge of the Cliff," by Myra A. Wiggins. The object of the artist here was to pose these two figures of mother and child in a proper setting. A lens of good focal length, with a fairly large aperture was used, and chief attention was paid to the figures. The background was so arranged that its general character was indicated without any one feature standing out assertively to divide attention with the mother and child. The result is that the figures stand out in bold relief and are not confused with the background. At the same time, there is no mistaking the general character of the cliff used as a setting for the figures. The white dress of the child contrasts well and balances the dark garments of the mother. Looking into the picture one feels that there is some appreciable distance from the foreground to the vanishing point in the background. (See Page 140.)
Study No. 48, "The Meadow Road," by J. R. Peterson. This picture illustrates well the balance of mass and line with general breadth of effect. The composition, as a whole, is harmonious, though there is a tendency, perhaps, to include too many objects of interest. The upright posts are a disfigurement, and if removed would not be missed from the picture. The central point of interest is marked by the highlight at the bend in the road where it is well placed in sharp contrast with the mass of dark foliage. The sky is good and the double mounting of the print lends a distinct charm to the picture. (See Page 306.)
Study No. 36, "Hillside," by William T. Knox. In this picture we have a good rendering of a charming bit of woodland scenery. It owes its chief attractiveness to its even distribution of light and shade. The quality of sunlight softens and subdues detail, taking away all sense of harshness and the spotty effects so common in pictures of this kind. The winding pathway, which is the central point of interest, is admirably placed, and holds the lines of the picture together well. The beautiful gray mount, with delicate gradations of color, is in good harmony with the tones of the picture. (See Page 258.)
Study No. 11, "Fast Falls the Eventide," by George H. Paine. Perhaps the most interesting feature of this picture is the sky lit by the dying sun. The line of trees, with their branches and twigs silhouetted up against the sky form the principal point of interest. The remaining parts of the picture though dark and in shadow, show agreeable gradations of tone and are by no means flat or monotonous. Perhaps the chief charm is due to the sentiment of the subject itself. (See Page 112.)
Study No. 25, "Sunset Clouds over Bay," by S. I. Carpenter. "We have in this print a beautiful cloud study which, though simple, is exceedingly effective. The rippling light in the sky is reflected in the surface of the water and the whole is rendered in broad flat tones that abound in gradation of color. There are no violent contrasts here and everything is soft and quiet, without losing the suggestion of sea and sky. The picture is restful and inspiring. (See Page 210.)
"Busily all the night
Is heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white."
Leafless trees under most any consideration are good subjects for photography, but when covered with snow they are doubly interesting, forming in this instance the central point of interest in the picture. While the rendering of the texture of the snow is good, footprints would have given us shadows that are now lacking. It is said that shadows make the picture and the broad sweep of transparent shadow here in the foreground is the most pictorial feature in the composition. The telegraph pole is decidedly objectionable.