This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1914" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1914.
When you consider buying a house that has been built by another person there are several things to be taken into consideration. Does the plan or arrangement suit you, has the workmanship been that of first-class mechanics, and are the materials of which the house has been built of the best quality ? If all these things are satisfactory you will like the house and probably buy it. If, on the other hand, any one of these things is unsatisfactory the deal would be called off.
The same things may be said of photography. The posing, lighting and general arrangement must be satisfactory to your customer just as the plan of the house must be satisfactory to you. You must have an eye for pleasing lines of composition - must have originality enough to make your posing and lighting suit your subject, just as the architect must make his plans to suit the ideas of his client. Workmanship must always be good regardless of whether you are building a house or making a photograph.
And as to material, we might say the materials are all important, for no matter how well the subject is posed and lighted - no matter how expert the workmanship may be, if the material is not first class the result will not be satisfactory.
By Gerhard Sisters
(Of the Women's Federation)
St. Louis, Mo.
This is all very true and you will find the most successful men using the best materials in their work, but good materials alone will not make good photographs.
The best platinum print that can be made from a poor negative is a failure just as the poor negative, no matter how good a plate may have been used, is poor because the lighting and exposure may both have been bad.
However, good materials will help a poor workman to be a better one even though they cannot make him one. With the best materials, properly handled, one may be certain that if the results are not good it is the fault of the man and not what he has to work with.
Blame yourself once in a while and try to do better work. You must be a good photographer before you can make work which is really good.
Make a study of photography - try to improve your work at every opportunity by every means within your power and use the best of materials. Acknowledge your shortcomings and just that soon and no sooner will you be able to improve.
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