Artificial Light

When artificial light is used it is desirable to have this light as diffused as possible, and if arc lamps are employed, diffusing screens must be used in order to prevent the hard shadows which are cast by a point source of light. The new half Watt lamps can be very conveniently used for furniture photography, and are probably the most economical form of artificial light available. Incandescent gaslight may also be used and in emergency even flashlight, but as there is little red light given by even the best flash powders, it cannot be expected that the detail will be quite so good as when daylight, or gas or electric lights are used.

The Background

For dark furniture a white background is usually used, but for furniture painted white a gray background should be used, other-wise the outline of the object will be lost in the background.

Articles of furniture are generally required to stand out by themselves, and the best practice is to have a large background, say thirty feet long by ten feet wide, made of coarse canvas distempered white. This should be hung up at an angle of about 45° behind the object, and allowed to come on the floor well in front of it, so that the latter stands on the canvas. The background should be as well lighted as possible. When the negative is made it very often requires no further attention, but can be printed directly without any blocking out. If any detail of the background shows it is blocked out in the usual way. A little Eastman opaque is taken on a fine sable brush,and a stripe, about one-quarter of an inch wide painted on the film side of the negative, close up to the outline of the object. A mask is then cut in red or black paper and the remainder of the background is blocked out with this, the mask being pasted on the glass side of the negative. Any places that have caught too much light may be locally reduced, preferably by the use of a mechanical method, e.g., rubbing down the density with a piece of chamois leather and alcohol or, for rapid work, a little Putz pomade.

The Scale Of The Photograph

The Scale Of The Photograph StudioLightMagazine1915 107


By N. Brock Asheville, N. C.

Sometimes it is desirable to indicate the size of the furniture, and this is done by placing an upright rule, about nine feet long, with the feet clearly marked on it, by the side of the article to be photographed. This gives, roughly, an idea of the height of the furniture. Another rule is laid on the floor at right angles, and this gives an indication of the length. Occasionally an identifying number printed on a card is also photographed at the same time, and this saves the necessity of numbering either the prints or the negatives, but some photographers omit this and prefer to scrape or print the number in reverse on negatives. When a number of articles are to be successively photographed in the same proportions, a piece of string from camera to nearest point of articles in each case will ensure sizes being in the same ratio.

Photographing Suites

An article in the British Journal of Photography (1913, page 478) gives some useful hints with regard to showing photographs of different articles of the same suite on the one sheet of paper, so that the photographic print looks similar to the arrangement so often seen in the furniture catalogues. If separate negatives have been made, this is done by placing them in suitable positions on the glass of a sufficiently large printing-frame. The backgrounds of the negatives should have been previously blocked out, and opaque paper is used to mask where the negatives join or there is any clear glass; some glass may be cut away if necessary to make subjects fit nicely. If any of the negatives are less dense than others they are of course shaded during printing.

Another method is to take the several pieces of furniture on the same plate. To do this a piece of cardboard is taken of the size of the camera back and a rough sketch made on it of the items to be included. This is numbered off in sections and a separate card for each section taken, and an opening cut in each representing a different section. One of these masks is now placed in the back of the camera, the article for that section focussed up and exposure made. The plate holder is now removed and the mask replaced with another for the next article which is focussed and exposed, and so on until the series is complete.{To be continued.}

If you are unfamiliar with any line of photographic work, visit the Eastman School of Professional Photography. Also encourage your employees to attend, for their increased efficiency means better service to you.

Photographing Suites StudioLightMagazine1915 109


By N. Brock Asheville, N. C.

The most important event of your school life - graduation - is surely worth a portrait. To exchange with classmates - to keep the memory of school days.Make the appointment to-day.

Photographing Suites StudioLightMagazine1915 111


No. 214. Price, 80 cents.

Photographing Suites StudioLightMagazine1915 112


By Emma B. Freeman Eureka, Cal.