This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1911" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1911.
Many photographers are fully alive to the advantages of working in background effects on the negative and are making many of their portrait negatives with a plain background as a base for the final hand work done at the time of retouching.
The greatest advantage of this method lies in its elasticity. At the time of the sitting the sitter is placed before a plain black ground and the operator's attention and skill can be concentrated on lighting and posing with no thought of the sitter's relation to the background.
When a negative of this kind is retouched and prepared for printing a clouded or scenic background can be worked in on the glass side of the negative and the relation of the sitter to the lights and shadows of the background can be contemplated and arranged at leisure subject to as many changes as are necessary to produce the desired effect.
When a clouded or scenic ground is used at the time of the sitting the operator must consider the proper placing of the sitter before that ground in addition to the posing and lighting, as the location of the lights and shadows of such a ground are registered on the negative at the time of the sitting and are not subject to change in the final finishing of the negative.
The advantages of the plain black ground as compared to the scenic or clouded ground are all in favor of the former, looking at it from the elasticity standpoint, but the worked-in-on-the-nega-tive ground calls for practice and skill and should not be attempted by those who have no knowledge of the subject.
There is a reason for the arrangement of the lights and shadows of the worked-in ground, or there should be. There must be a reason if a harmonious and correct final effect is to be produced. This fact accounts for the difference in the worked-in ground effects produced by skilled and unskilled workers.
For the benefit of such photographers as wish to embrace the opportunity of harmonious combination of sitter and background by the hand-work method a course of instruction in this kind of work was incorporated in the work of the Eastman Professional School of Photography.
This year the course is being continued by the Eastman School as it held the interest of all visiting photographers at last year's sessions and thus proved itself a desirable feature.
At the School this demonstration is carried on in full view of all attending photographers by being projected onto a large screen. Those in attendance can easily see the work as it progresses while remaining comfortably seated.
This demonstration, like all of the Eastman School demonstrations, is complete. The mediums used and their application are fully explained together with the reasons for the general arrangement of the lights and shadows of the background in relation to the lights and shadows of the subject.
The secret of successful instruction lies in the ability of the instructor to treat the subject in hand thoroughly and comprehensively, and that is just what the Eastman School instructors are doing at every session. The demonstrations are not only visible and actual demonstrations, but the reasons for each method of procedure are carefully explained in proper succession.
The mission of the Eastman School of Professional Photography is to instruct the professional photographer in the application of the simplest and best methods and the growing success of the School is proof that this mission is being fulfilled.
When the Eastman School arrives in your section of the country don't fail to attend. This means dollars to you and increased success in your business. Watch the School dates as they appear in each issue. This month the advance list appears on page 23.
Gen. Chaffee, U. S. A., Retired.
Pirie Macdonald Photographer-Of-Men New York.
From an Artura Iris print.