The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Portraiture
we get an aperturewhich requires a good deal of stopping
down. This arrangement is not optically and scientifically per-fect, but, at any rate, it will just do what we want it to, and we have a very convenient and efficient combination lens with which we can obtain any focal length, and consequently any sized image, so that we can actually work our lens at any aperture we like without having to get too near the sitter, and thus decrease the ratio aperture. The next point to consider is the camera and tripod. This may be the ordinary one we are always in the habit of using ; but if we want to avoid any outcry we had better shoe the tripod points with bits of cork to prevent damage to carpets, etc. A swing-back is extremely convenient here. No other point in the camera or its appurtenances requires notice.
The next important consideration is the plate. This is always a burning question, and our advice is to use as sensitive a plate as you can get hold of - isochromatic, orthochromatic, or colour-sensitive, in preference, because there is less work for retouching. Freckles and sallow skins and yellowish lighting have, therefore, less influence. We prefer personally a bromo-iodide plate, and always give as long an exposure as we possibly can without allowing the sitter to obviously move, and for this reason keep our eye on the sitter, and have the lens cap ready to clap on the instant we note a tremor. The developer we use is eikonogen with hydroquinone, but at present we have only con-sidered the necessary appliances, and consequently the develop-ment takes a later place. Every amateur who wants to start portraiture will generally place his sitter as close as possible to the window, and is astonished to find on developing his plate that he has obtained a wonderful and fearful hybrid, with one side of the face black and the other white. To such a novice we propound the startling theory that the farther he puts his sitter away from the window the softer and more harmonious the lighting and the better the results obtained. If he does not believe this, let him set to work to prove it optically and practically on himself, for which purpose all that is necessary is a decent-sized hand-glass or mirror, a chair, and the would-be operator. Now let him seat himself in the chair close to the window and hold the glass so that he can see his face plainly, and yet so that the glass shall not cast the reflection of the light on to the face, and he will find that one
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