Art Principles In Portrait Photography

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

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LINES
the simple oil background to the barrenness of a photo graphic print.
We must consider the resources of the medium at our command. Whereas oil painting gives us pulsating life, even in monotone backgrounds, photography forces us to create that quality through gradation, or we may1 cut the surface with form-margins called lines.
In Fig. 50 the tightness of texture suppresses life, the density is an impenetrable wall confronting our intellect. This dead flat background, however, is less offensive than the devices used by photographers in the past to "set off" the figure. We can all recall a ghastly array of scenic nonsense that occupied a cor ner of every photographic studio. See what signifi cance is everywhere manifest in Fig. 51. The picture lives and our imagination is stimulated by it. In Fig. 50 the figure is like the grasses plucked from the field, it has become a specimen and has little relation to anything. Plainly, it is impossible in an unmanipu-lated photograph to make the figure seem other than central, isolated, "glued on," because of this naked ness in its surroundings.
In learning how to establish a relation of the three factors, figure, background and frame, we come to consideration of beauty gained through the placing of lines. In Fig. 52 we have the picture plane on which a line is to be placed. In Fig. 53 the line is drawn
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