The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Portraiture
one side of the camera; the burning ribbon is moved about so as to equalise the illumination, and the two final inches are brought so as to illuminate the shadow side of face. The dis-advantage of burning magnesium in the room is that the oxide or magnesia formed flies about and settles on everything, and if two or three exposures have to be made one after the other, the negatives obtained subsequent to the first are foggy and hazy. A large white reflector should be used with magnesium, the same as with ordinary daylight. There is one point which it is advis-able to note, and that is that magnesium ribbon, and not wire, should be used, and, secondly, that magnesium ribbon which has been kept for some time is frequently oxidised on the surface. This should always be removed by drawing the ribbon once or twice through emery paper, or else between the nails. If much oxidised, the ribbon will splutter, and we have known it to be quite extinguished.
The Platinotype Company's Oxy-Magnesium Lamp for Portraiture.
This is a device for burning magnesium wire in a closed bottle of oxygen, whereby the intensity of the light is enormously in-creased. It consists of a strong white glass bottle of about three pints capacity and provided with a tubulus near the bottom. Attached to the stopper is a clip for holding a length of mag-nesium wire and the terminals of an electrical arrangement for kindling the wire. This arrangement prevents the escape of any trace of magnesia smoke. An illustration of the lamp will be found in The Amateur Photographer for December ist, 1899, p. 434.
Few of our readers will believe in the use of an oil lamp, but there is one method which has given us fairly good results for profile and three-quarter-face portraits, and which may also be used for full face with a little ingenuity and contrivance. Still, this is only to be done by the possessors of an optical (or magic) lantern. The lamp is lighted and the circle of light directed on to the sitter, and so adjusted that no heavy black shadow appears on one side of the face, and also so that no black shadow appears on the background. An ordinary lamp should be used to light up the shadow side of the face, and in all artificial-light work the room should be as well lit up as
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