This section is from the "Studio Light And The Aristo Eagle - A Magazine Of Information For The Profession 1909" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light And The Aristo Eagle - A Magazine Of Information For The Profession 1909.
We are going to spend two thousand dollars for photographs this fall, and we hope to be able to spend quite a few dollars more for the same purpose. The two thousand dollars prize money for our 1909 Kodak Advertising Contest will be charged against expense, and we naturally want to obtain the most we can for our money. In our previous contests we have found a number of pictures outside the prize winners that we were willing to pay a good sum for, and we are hoping that the 1909 Contest will disclose double the quantity the previous contests made available. Nothing would please us better than to have every entry so good as to stand a chance as a prize winner. In the two preceding contests quite a number of technically excellent photographs were received that stood no possible chance of being considered, some because they did not come within the limits of the competition, and others because they lacked the power to convince or attract.
In order to get on the right track, and have our entries stand at least a fair chance, let us take up a subject and see how we would work it out. Suppose, for instance, we wanted to produce a picture that would help sell Kodak Film Tanks. First, we would consider the strung selling points of the Tank - the entire operation in full daylight, any time, any place - simplicity, no previous experience in development necessary to secure good results - portability. so small and compact as to be readily transported anywhere. Having considered these points let us attempt a picture showing the tank in use. In selecting the subject to operate the tank we,have the choice of men. women, young or old, and children. The time worn phrase, "so simple a child can use it," will perhaps Hash into your mind.
While it is true that a child of seven or eight could be taught to use the tank successfully, the percentage of children of that age interested in photography is very small, so a picture with a child of that age using the tank would lack conviction. A boy or girl of from twelve to fourteen would be better, but as most of these youngsters are using Brownie Cameras it would be better to use them in making a picture showing the use of the Brownie Developing Box.
Next in selection we have young men and women. In turning over the advertising pages in a magazine, a good many of us will stop to look at a picture of a manly young man, but everyone of us will pause to inspect the picture of a comely young woman. It thus appearing that the comely young woman would be the strongest factor in first arresting the eye, let us use her.
Fortunately, attractive girls are to be found anywhere, so we wont have much trouble there. Now if she is a girl with sufficient intelligence to enjoy picture making, there are a few things she would not do:
When she was preparing to develop her film in the tank, she would not don an evening gown, with low neck and short sleeves, but she would wear some of her common everyday clothes, and being careful, would don a good long apron of gingham or some other fabric known best to womankind, - and further, having due respect for the household gods, she would not select the shining mahogany table in the parlor to develop on - quite true, she could develop on the mahogany table and not get a spot on it - but she wouldn't use it just the same, and if you saw an advertisement with her all "fussed up" in an evening gown, and using the mahogany table, you would mentally exclaim "fake" - "just posing," and no matter how strong the argument in type accompanying the picture, you would not be convinced.
This one illustration will serve as well as a dozen in demonstrating the points necessary in picture making to be used for advertising purposes.
First, the picture must possess the power in beauty or strength to arrest attention.
From An Angelo Sepia Platinum Print By Frank E. Dean Grand Junction, Colo.
Second, it must create an interest in or desire for the goods advertised.
Third, it must be simple and natural, - simple because its story must be told at the first glance, and natural in order to convince.
Just good landscapes or good portraits are not suitable for use in our advertising. The pictures must tell a story and tell it simply, quickly and convincingly. Beauty is not absolutely essential, but wholesome attractiveness is and above all naturalness.
When you are planning your pictures, stop and consider would this picture attract or convince me - would it help to sell me the goods, then boil it down to the last degree of simplicity, and you stand a good chance of being "in the money."
Phew, it's hot - thank goodness my work under the light is done for this day, and if it wasn't for all those plates to develop I could take Mary and the kiddies and get out into the country for a breath of air. Hang this dark room work, anyhow yet it's got to be done or no plates to proof in the morning.
How many times have just such thoughts popped into your head during the Stifling midsummer days? Some of you still have to think and suffer that way - but what is the use, when the remedy is so easy? Here is how our friend Mr. L. E. Webb, of Morgan town, N. C, works it:
"Recently I photographed a large graduating class individually, and by tanking each dozen plates as exposed, when I had completed exposing, all my plates were developed and fixed, except the last dozen. The convenience of the tank in one large bunch of work will more than pay for it."
Let the tank do the drudgery - it will not only protect you from dark room discomforts, but dark room accidents as well, and produce uniform negatives of any printing quality you desire.
Let the tank do the work.
Keep posted on the Eastman School of Professional Photography - read the bulletin on page 24.