The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Portraiture
paper, etc., the sensitive salt of silver in our dry plate has a ten-dency to exaggerate this shadow, and without an inordinately long exposure we get " soot and whitewash " results, or, in other words, one side of the face bare glass without any detail, and the other side very dense; so that to obtain the detail in the latter in the print we over-expose the former, and the print is too harsh. To modify this state of things must be our great endeavour, and we shall see how to do this in lighting, or rather placing of sitter, and also by the use of reflectors. Now reflectors may be of two kinds, which we may call the small and intense, such as a mirror, and the large and diffused, like a sheet. The latter will be found of far greater service that the former, and to be of service must be of large size and properly placed - of sufficiently large size to be placed not only on some support, but also to be spread out on the floor. A convenient support for this reflector is the domestic clothes-horse. We may as well digress here a moment and give one hint to all would-be home portraitists, and that is make friends with the ruling spirit of the house, whether wife, mother, or sister, as to turn out decent work means some upset-ting of the room and utilisation of household property; so first of all get on the right side of the powers that be, and secondly always clear up after you - put things back, as far as lies in your power, in the position you found them. Ladies will always look with disfavour on any one who turns the place upside down, and even when " you men " put curtains, chairs, etc., to rights, the gentle hand must give the final arranging artistic touch. Curtains are sure to drape the window, so these must be pulled right back, and pinned or held back by a chair, etc.; blinds, Venetian or otherwise, must be pulled right up; and finally windows must be clean - a dirty window will stop out 50 per cent, of the light sometimes. If the windows are of the French fashion - that is, opening out or in like a door - open them wide, if not too cold. Finally, when necessary, use a reflector outside the window ; we all know how snow on the ground lights up the room, so use a reflector, and use a big one. We daren't suggest putting a sheet out, because this might get us into serious trouble with the ladies, but u we are free to confess " that we do it, though under protest from somebody. When it comes to full length, we get another question to consider, that of suitable accessories, and wrhen con-sidering the subject of posing, we shall note a point or two which
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