This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
Linen Finish, Buff and White
Linen Finish is an exceptionally pleasing new surface of Vitava. coated with the same rich emulsion that has made Vitava Athena Old Master so popular for high grade portraiture.
The stock is of the very best quality and is made from clean, new. white rags while the surface has the texture of a very finely woven fabric. It is sufficiently smooth for prints quite small in size, yet the effect is equally pleasing in large prints.
Linen Finish has a slight lustre which adds to its warmth and brilliancy and is a material aid in rendering fine detail. It lends itself to the various coloring processes and is specially suited to tinting with oil pigments as is also the Old Master surface.
Vitava Athena. Linen Finish is furnished only in double weight Stock, R White and S Buff, at the same price as the Old Master surface. Your dealer can now supply you.ELON We make it - we know it's right.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
From National Conveniion. Portrait Film Exhibit.
The three important things in the making of a portrait are, the pose of the subject, the lighting and the expression. And all of these are best secured without the aid of the camera.
By this I mean that what the camera lens records on the ground glass does not help you with pose, lighting or expression - in fact it hinders because it takes your attention from the subject.
If you want to make better photographs you must learn to make them without the aid of your ground glass, unless it is to give it a glance just to see that the picture is properly spaced.
If you have never made a sitting without spending half your time under your focusing hood just try it once. Delegate that part of the work to an assistant and don't be afraid that there is something under that focusing hood that he should not see.You want him to learn and the more he learns the more useful he will be to you.
Talk to your subject, be pleasant, know just what you want to do and do it quickly. Keep up the conversation while you arrange your lighting, signal your assistant indicating when and where you want the camera, which can be done without speaking a word. Then with your head in front of the lens and one eye closed you should be able to see exactly what the lens sees, only better.
It should take your assistant just about one minute to focus his camera and for that length of time you should step aside and allow him to see the subject on the ground glass. But don't appear to be waiting for something. Keep up the conversation, and when you hear the holder slide into place, get hold of the bulb, keep it behind you in one hand and conceal the fact that you are about to make the exposure.
If you are a good conversationalist you will be able to get an animated expression and squeeze that bulb without the sitter knowing it and you can immediately change your lighting or your camera for a second exposure.
I have seen a photographer work so fast that he had eight or ten negatives while his sitter thought he was merely trying to find a satisfactory position for his camera to make the first exposure. And it is under just such conditions that the very best expressions are secured.
Portrait Film Negative, Vitava Print
From National Convention.
Portrait Film Exhibit.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
From National Convention. Portrait Film Exhibit.
The sitter is more at ease when he is talking and is more natural. And so long as you can keep him interested you can get good expressions.
In Miss Peggy Stewart's demonstration at the recent National Convention she showed a little trick of handing a child a toy. quickly turning her back and making the exposure while she watched the child's expression in a hand mirror. The child almost invariably followed her with its eyes and the expression was always one of interest.
If you must operate your own camera don't keep your head covered any longer than is actually necessary quickly to focus and space the image. You must train yourself to see the effect of every change of light on the sitter. And when you can see light you can work faster, produce better lightings and secure more pleasing expressions.
It's from the man on the outside that one gets the best ideas of how photography and photographers' methods please the public. My last experience was with a man I chanced to meet in the smoking compartment of a Pullman.
From a remark regarding some illustrations in a magazine the conversation turned to photographs and at once the man's face showed interest.
"I think Mr. Blank is one of the finest photographers in the country,'' was the way he began the recital of his experience.
"He has just finished some wonderful pictures of my daughter - in fact I think they are the best photographs I ever saw in my life. And I was very much impressed with the method he used of interesting us in having these pictures made
"My wife received a personal letter stating that in a few days she would be called on the telephone by a young lady at the studio in regard to an appointment for a photograph of our daughter, and I think the letter also mentioned something about prices of certain styles of pictures.