The Dictionary Of Photography

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

Home | About | Photography | Contact






Portraiture
these to pleasing proportions, whilst if we place the lens level with the breast, so as to look up to the nose and lip, the abnormal length is intensified. We might go on multiplying instances in this fashion, but must leave the operator to find these things out for himself. Some people, especially those who do much head work or who have experienced great troubles or worry, have very marked furrows or furrow at the root of the nose between the eyebrows, and on either side a protuberance more or less marked, which give great character to the face, and which the possessors are sometimes very proud of. The face should be so lighted that these, or at least one, is distinctly visible, and a very good position is the profile just showing a little of the further eye. Another important point to be con-sidered is the presence of scars, moles, and other marks ; when these are present, it is of course absolutely necessary to take the other side of the face, unless, in the case of a fair sitter, when sometimes a small mole or beauty spot is very effective, giving piquancy to the face. All professional photographers and all authorities upon portraiture state that one side of the human face is better or more perfect than the other. Thus H. P. Robin-son, the best known authority, in his excellent little book, " The Studio, and What to Do in It," p. 50, says, " The first thing to decide when you see your sitter should be, ' Which side of his face will make the best picture ?' This consideration seldom gives an experienced operator any trouble. To one who is in the habit of observing, the sides of every face differ so much and in such a definite manner, that a glance is all that is necessary to settle the question ; but the young photographer will want to know how to select and have some rule for the selection. If you will look critically at a full face (or the photograph of a full face would be better, as it would enable you to measure), you will find that the eyes are not, level - one is higher than the other. This is almost invariable, and is one of the peculiar instances in which nature insists on variety, even where uniformity would seem to be proper. ... I keep an illustrated catalogue of all the portraits I take, and on looking through several volumes ... I found that about four out of five of the portraits were taken looking to the right, showing that I had in these instances chosen the left side as the best." An important point, and one often neglected by the amateur operator, is the direction of the
528