The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Portraiture
very pretty artistic background, but it I should never be as sharply focussed as the sitter, nor sufficiently fuzzy to lose its outline and character. Never take your subject standing against a wall, the top of which just comes across the back of his neck; this gives one an idea of the guillotine or block, which is not pleasant. Always look carefully, too, to see that there is no obtrusive branch or flower which apparently grows out of his neck or the top of his head. We have a most curious example of amateur portraiture in which the sitter, a lady, wears a hat trimmed with some flowers, and from the position she is placed in it looks for all the world as though she was supporting a whole rose-tree on her head. A sitter should never be placed in the sun, nor under a tree through the branches or leaves of which the sun shines on him in patches, or the resulting prints will give one the idea of a piebald sitter. Very good results can frequently be obtained by placing the sitter in the angle of a wail facing the north or north-west; but it is far prefer-able to use a lawn studio, such as sold by various firms. We have used one made on the same principle for some time with the best results. With such a studio one can command the lighting, and obtain results otherwise impossible, and the cost is but small. Outdoor work gives us very good chances for happy groupings, and we shall note one or two possibilities, leaving our readers to carry out more fully the ideas we sketch. Tennis parties are capital opportunities, not only for flirting, but also for group work. Thus we may have two gentlemen, one in the act of tossing, the other watching him ; and two young ladies standing together having a confidential chat, and " Tossing for Partners " will tell the story. In the background we can place a group of onlookers, and perhaps a couple quietly walking down a path or across the grass for a quiet tete-d-tete. Afternoon tea out of doors, again, affords us another capital subject - the tea-table, the presiding divinity and her attendant satellite, then two or three pairs scattered about, but near. Here one must apply to a great extent the well-known rules of com-position, which are easily mastered. Whatever you do, carry out the idea well. Do not crowd everybody together; give some tea-cups, others plates, etc., and fill cups and plates; and don't let all your sitters look straight at the camera; let them chat to one another. Again, in outdoor work there are plenty of chances
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