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.
The ground-glass of a portrait camera is intended for focusing the image, placing it in its proper position and judging the amount of exposure by the illumination which it shows. Further than this it is of no value to the one making the portrait. We might go further and say it is a real detriment - for it is most deceiving.
Attempt to judge, by what you see on the ground-glass, the effect of a bit more light here or less there, the result of a little light reflected into a shadow or the placing of an opaque screen and its effect, and you will be in a fair way to meet with very unsatisfactory results for your trouble.
The deception of the ground-glass has made many a photographer a worse one - but none better. You must see the effect you are to get in your negative without the aid of your lens and ground-glass - your eye must be trained to see every little play of light and shade and know its value. It must measure the depth of a shadow and know when to reduce the highlights to balance those shadows or lighten the shadows sufficiently to balance the highlights.
In other words, you must train your eye to see a lighting and know its value without a thought of how it may look on a ground-glass. And when you have done this you are in a fair way to make good negatives.
Then there is the sitter to think of. Do you know the feeling of the sitter who patiently waits for the photographer to look on the ground-glass, move a screen, take another look, pull at a curtain, have another look and so on for ten or fifteen minutes, instructions to turn the head, raise the chin, etc., coming meanwhile from somewhere within the depths of the camera? The sitter is relieved each time the head comes out, but a worried look, such as a sailor might wear at the approach of a storm covers the photographer's face as he reefs the mainsail of his skylight and takes another look at the barometer, his ground-glass. That is the way a certain sitting affected me.
But that is not the way all photographers work. It is probably not the way you work,unless you are a slave to your ground-glass. And if you are, take my advice and learn to judge your lightings, pose your subject and make all preparations for the exposure before the camera is brought into play or while an assistant attends to placing the camera. You will get better negatives, better expressions and better orders.
By Gerhard Sisters
(Of the Women's Federation)
St. Louis, Mo.
Are you advertising right now - to-day? We believe that the most effective advertising is that which covers a year, or years, of constant use of good space filled with bright, snappy copy. But if this cannot be done, seasonable advertising is the next best thing. And this is the season when the advertising pages are scanned most carefully.
Spring advertising is on in earnest and there is money left to be spent. There are new styles in everything to wear from hats to boots, and this fact makes a new portrait a thing to be most desired.
Offer the reader something new and make him feel he must have it. Suggest a portrait made in that new Easter hat and gown - then follow up your advertising with attractive show case displays, to which attention may be called in your advertising. It will bring you business.