Art Principles In Portrait Photography

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

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There is a similarity of terms used in teaching deco rative and pictorial art that is quite confusing. For instance, in pictorial art we speak of light spots and dark spots, light masses and dark masses, and though the words sound like the decorative terms "light and dark" they are never disassociated from gradation. For example, Fig. 118 is a plain photograph having pictorial possibilities. We find the physical portion modelled by the agency of frontal lighting. All through the flesh there is gradation of tone, but we may speak of it as a "mass of white." Gradation is also present in the hair and in the hat, forming broken masses of dark. The background and the dress are flat and are in a manner possessed of the decorative elements that characterize the Japanese print, yet how is it possible to develop this picture on the decorative principle ? Is not satisfaction to be gained rather by increasing the impression of modelling and by producing atmospheric conditions in the background ? Light and shade have been employed in Fig. 119 to bring about the beauty that conforms with the occidental ideas of the human figure. We want the evidences of health, of cheerful conditions, we want life in its fulness; life itself is plastic.
The ethereal grace of a Japanese rendering of the same subject, conceived and carried out in lines, light and dark, would be a product unacceptable to our