This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1919" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1919.
Many of us are jarring loose in these progressive days from ideas to which we had clung all too long. We have learned that a thing is not good enough so long as there is something better - we have come to have convictions and the courage to act upon them.
In photography just now, the one big thing that is better is Film. Without Film the motion picture history of the war would not have been possible, the wonderful Machine Gun Camera could not have been used to make expert marksmen of our aviators and the automatic cameras with which a battle area or a large city can be photographically mapped in a few hours would never have been developed.
We could mention other unusual accomplishments which owe their success to Film, but the one big thing to the professional photographer is the fact that Film has broadened his particular field of operations - has not only enabled him to do his practical, every-day task and do it better, but has made practical many of the things that have always been stumbling blocks to the ambitious and progressive workman.
It is not possible to go ahead so long as we stand still, and so far as any really noteworthy progress in the manufacture of negative making material is concerned, portrait photography has been at a standstill for the last thirty years or more.
The greatest real advance of late years, has been in motion pictures. You have only to sit through a modern high-grade screen production, to see it with the eyes of a student or an artist, seeking inspiration, to convince yourself of the fact that it is not the same photography that you practice.
Forget the story, put yourself in the place of the M. P. operator who made those pictures and ask yourself if you could duplicate them on plates. Some of them - yes, most of them - the unusual ones, the ones that strike you as being marvelously clever and bold and attractive - no. You couldn't do it with plates - you can do it with Film. It's being done every day.
We said, the greatest advance had been in motion pictures - we meant the greatest advance until the introduction of Portrait Film. Portrait photographers are doing wonderful things on Film. There is more variety to their work - to their lighting and posing. More realism, because portraits are being made under more natural conditions, in the home, and by duplicating home conditions in the studio.
Those who have been photographed in their own homes wonder why home portraiture was not thought of long ago. It was thought of and was practiced, but you know with what success. The light was invariably so harsh that the home had to be made over into a studio. Even with artificial light, contrasts were so great that the light had to be greatly diffused.
You couldn't explain this to a customer who lives in a modern home that is properly lighted. The light is only harsh to the photographic material that is not capable of recording light of ordinary brilliancy. The rays of light penetrate the emulsion of a glass plate, but when they are strong enough to penetrate the glass, they immediately run wild. They spread in every direction - are reflected back upon the under side of the emulsion, overlap and destroy the records of other rays which would otherwise record detail. The result is harshness.
If you do not make home portraits, don't blame the home - don't say that the conditions are too difficult - use Film. It is in the difficult lightings, the unusual conditions both in the home and in the studio, that Film shows its superiority.
If you think there is nothing new in photography it is only because you have exhausted those ideas which were based on the necessity for modifying ordinarily brilliant light. Throw the screens open, let in the light, even sunlight, and you have at hand as many new effects as you can conceive.
There is something new in photography - something worth adopting, because its advantages are basic. Glass placed limitations on the photographer's work - Film removes them.
Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By Geo. C. Bell Madison, Wis.