Art Principles In Portrait Photography

How to Apply the Highest Classic Artistic Principles to your Photography.

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Suddenly a great change is wrought in the very aim of the profession. Whereas by plain photography the operator's attention was directed to the head and figure of the person portrayed and the background was a haphazard and illogical factor, the new photography aims to establish the right relation of the background to the figure, in order that the likeness may be raised into portraiture through a completeness of pictorial expression.
The photographer's sole reliance upon "lighting" accounts for the peculiar and fatal limitations of plain photography. Lighting exists to give roundness to the forms of head and body. In painting we speak of it as "modelling." It is not an element of construction as arrangement is, it only makes more effective the well placed parts; but before it is considered other points must be thoroughly understood. The art-aspirant in photography is destined to meet the same difficulties that would confront him in painting. When he holds in his hand a negative, he will be puzzled to know what to do with the background or how to modify the figure. A few principles will help him to think pictorially, - for art is not structureless, - and he will arrive at an understanding of what constitutes the dif ference between nature and art, how beauty is to be secured, and what factors combine to regulate expres sion. He can then indulge his love for invention by