Among the examples we have received are some which would certainly do credit to any professional artist, alike for the posing, lighting, and general treatment; indeed, we may say that some of the poses are of a high artistic order, and quite a relief from the conventional positions and accessories so frequently seen in professional work. The expressions secured are also, as a rule, unusually pleasing and natural. This is, no doubt, in a great measure due to the sitter feeling more at ease in the amateur friend's drawing room than in a stranger's studio. Particularly is this the case in some excellent work--full-length pictures--sent from the other side of the Atlantic, and taken in a room of very modest dimensions, and with only one window. Among the failures (if such they may be called) the chief fault lies in the lighting, and from either under or over exposure--the former chiefly arising when a landscape lens was used, and the latter when a portrait combination was employed. Some correspondents also complain of the long exposure that, in their case, had been imperative; but, curiously enough, with all the successful pictures a very brief exposure has always been mentioned, and generally with an exceedingly small window.

With a view to the further assistance of those who have met with difficulties, we recur again to the subject of the lighting, for upon this must entirely depend the success or failure in producing satisfactory results; and, as we explained in previous articles, unless proper chiaroscuro is secured on the model, it will be impossible to obtain it in the picture. The chief defect in this respect has been either that the light has been too abrupt, and consequently the high lights are very white and the shadows heavy, giving the pictures an under-exposed appearance, or the face is devoid of shadow, one side being as light as the other; hence it lacks the roundness necessary to constitute a good picture. In most instances the former defect has arisen from the reflecting screen not being properly placed so as to reflect back the light in the right direction, or it has been too far from the model; hence it has lost the greater part of its value. It should be borne in mind that the nearer the sitter is to the source of light the nearer the reflector must be to him, and also that at whatever angle the light falls upon the reflector it is always thrown off at a corresponding one.

Now, supposing that the light falls upon the model at an angle of, say, 40°: we shall have to place our reflecting screen at somewhat the same angle, and the nearer it is approached the greater will be the effect produced. If the sitter be placed very close to the window and the reflector a long way off, or if it project the light in a wrong direction, it is manifest that in the resulting pictures the shadows will, of necessity, be heavy, and the negative will have an under-exposed appearance, however long may have been given, simply because there was no harmony in the lighting of the model. In the case where the picture has been flat it has arisen from the sitter being placed too far back from the window, so that the direct light falling upon him has been too feeble to produce any strong lights, and the reflector arranged so that it received a stronger illumination than the model, then reflecting it on to the latter, quite overpowering the dominant lights. The remedy for this is simply to bring the sitter more forward, so as to obtain a stronger dominant light.

With regard to the time of exposure: we must again impress upon the student the necessity for placing the sitter as close to the window as can be conveniently done, for then he will receive the strongest illumination; and, no matter how strong the shadows which may be produced, they can always be modified sufficiently by the judicious use of the reflector. Of course, in practice there is a limit as to the closeness the sitter can be placed, inasmuch as if too near there will not be room enough for the background. As we have before said, the effective light falling upon the sitter is governed by the amount of direct skylight to which he is exposed. For experiment, let any one seat himself, say, one foot from the window and sideways to it, and note the amount of sky that can be seen from this position, then take a seat six feet within the room, and note it from thence. The difference will be very marked indeed, and it will fully account for the long exposure that some have found imperative.

In our previous articles we directed special attention to the advantage accruing from arranging the sitter in such a position that he received as much direct light as possible, so that it practically helps to soften the shadows; hence the sitter should be placed so that he is turned as little away from the source of light as will enable the desired view of the face being obtained. That this may the more advantageously be done the camera should always be placed as close as possible to the side wall in which the window is situated. As an experiment illustrating the advantage of this: let a camera be placed close to the wall, then the sitter arranged so that from that point of view a three-quarter face is obtained, and it will be noticed that there is very little need of the reflector at all. Let a negative now be taken, and the camera brought, say, five feet into the room, and the sitter, without changing his seat, turned round until a similar view of the face is obtained from that point. It will now be seen that the shadows are very much deeper than before, and the reflector will have to be brought pretty close in order to overcome them; nevertheless they may be obtained quite as soft and harmonious as in the former case. Let a second negative now be taken, giving the same exposure as before, and it will be found that if the first one were correctly timed the second will be considerably under-exposed. Yet the sitter was at the same distance from the window in each case.

This shows the advisability of utilizing all the direct light it is possible to do, and thereby leaving as little as we can to be accomplished by the reflector. When the sitter is arranged to the best advantage at a window of ordinary size, fully exposed pictures can generally be obtained with a portrait lens (full opening) in fairly good light, on moderately sensitive plates, with one or two seconds' (or even less) exposure. If a longer exposure than this be necessary, it may fairly be assumed that the lighting has not been properly managed.--British Journal of Photography.