The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Portraiture
possible, so as to avoid great staring pupils to the eyes; and when this is not feasible without giving false lighting, the sitter should be made to look at a lighted lamp. The exposure required with such an arrangement is about twenty to thirty seconds, but if the limelight is to be had, ten seconds will be plenty. An important point when working with artificial light is to use as rapid a plate as possible, and // should be colour-sensitive, isochromatic or orthochromatic. To the more ambitious person home portraiture opens up an enormously wide field for practical experiments, which, if successful, lead to fine pictorial results. We shall, therefore, give a few hints which may suggest some subjects to the more advanced worker who is not afraid of combination printing, and the little trouble it entails. We shall take, first of all, a comparatively easy subject. This is a sitter seated by a window writing or reading ; through the window is seen a fine landscape. Now, if we give sufficiently long exposure for the figure to obtain detail in the deeper shadows, we shall enormously over-expose for the landscape, so much so as to make it ex-tremely difficult to develop the plate so as to obtain detail in the landscape. The best plan to obtain such an effect is to make two exposures; thus we may suggest fifteen to twenty seconds exposure for the figure, the lighting of which will be the so-called Rembrandt style, whereas probably one to two seconds would be sufficient for the landscape. We should give the longer ex-posure to the figure first, and then, without changing the position of camera, or allowing the sitter to move, we should insert another dark-slide, and give a short exposure for the landscape. On development we shall obtain two negatives, one well exposed for the portrait and over-exposed for the landscape, the other correctly exposed for the landscape and a mere ghost of a figure. By double or combination printing we can obtain a very good picture. Another subject which would give the best results by flash-light would be a group round a fire, which may be treated in the same way, and if a good negative of the fire itself is required, it is advisable to throw nitre or powdered sulphur on to it to make a rather more actinic blaze. Another class of subject which is by no means difficult, though one which perhaps ought not to be included in picture-making, is the production of ghost pictures, which are by no means difficult to make. The usual method of making the ghost wear white cerecloths is entirely unnecessary.
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