The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Portraiture
a pale tint suitable for dark people ; and by choosing also a deep green or deep red, we can obtain a dark background for fair hair, white or light dresses, and children. There are one or two points in connection with the background which it will be as well to mention before proceeding fany farther. The first is, when mounting cloth backgrounds, it is advisable to nail them to the roller, exactly like a blind, and an important point in this, as in the paper backgrounds, is to get them to hang straight; this can best be done by commencing to nail in the centre, working out to the edges, and giving the cloth at each nail a gentle stretch ; we then get no bulges or wrinkles. The second point refers to the choice of colour. It is well known that the illumination in most rooms is poor, and it is also a well-recognised fact " that coloured substances undergo changes of tint when they are seen under a very bright or very feeble illumination " : hence it is advisable to choose rather a lighter tint of any colour than we actually desire, as in the poorly lit room the tint will actually appear darker than it really is. The next question to consider is how to support the background, and this requires practically a frame or stand, which can easily be made from deal by a car-penter, or even by the amateur himself. The frame should take the form of an inverted V, thus a, and one of these at each end will be quite sufficient to support any background it may be desirable to use. Personally we use two iron rods, which were originally used as curtain suspenders, we fancy ; these are bound together near one end, so as to leave two little cross-pieces about six inches in length, which, crossing over, form a fork, in which the ends of the roller rest; these at each end serve to support the background. The lower ends of the iron rods are inserted in holes bored in pieces of deal six inches square and two inches thick ; this prevents the rods slipping, and enables one to shift the background. (See also article under Background.) In portraiture in rooms not specially built for that purpose the great difficulty to contend with is want of light, and power to control what light there is. The light streaming in from a narrow window which has not always an uninterrupted view of the sky gives a somewhat bright illumination to one side of a sitter's face, and the other is in somewhat dark shadow, and as the shadow side of the face is illuminated by light reflected from surrounding objects, such as dark-coloured furniture, or frequently somewhat yellowish
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