The Dictionary Of Photography

A True Historic Record Of The Art & Practice Of Photography 100 Years Ago.

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Background. Anything used, as the name implies, as sub-ordinate to or behind the principal figure or figures or objects in a photograph. There are many kinds - natural, artificial, in-teriors, exteriors, or plain. Natural backgrounds when properly used are the most pleasing, and as these cannot be made to. order, the intelligent amateur will choose his own. The artificial background is too well known from the work of the professional to need much description. A pleasing plain background can be made with a workhouse or dark brown blanket, or with one of the ordinary kind. An ordinary white sheet, or even brown paper of the kind used for placing under carpets, may be pressed into service in place of better material. The following directions for making a movable background may be of service to some: - Make a frame of inch deal 6 ft. high and 4 ft. 6 ins. wide. It can be made to take to pieces by using iron pins at the corners. At the top have two projecting iron rods, about 4 ft. long, at an angle of 1350. This to be made extendable at will. Side-shades should be made in the same manner. Unbleached calico can be used, which should be freely painted over with the following distemper: -
Common whiting
Glue powder... ......
Water            ............
Mix the above thoroughly, and add
Ivory black ... Ultramarine ... Red ochre
ground down into a very fine cream with water. It can be darkened or lightened according to amount of colour added ; the colour is lighter when dry. Some of the most artistic results are to be obtained by the use of graduated or shaded backgrounds ; these, though somewhat difficult to successfully make at home, may be obtained at a very reasonable price from nearly all dealers. A convenient frame or support for amateurs' back-grounds has been devised by M. D'Abmonville. To each end of the background is nailed a roller of bamboo; and the supports