The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Portraiture
one desirous of entering this by no means difficult branch ot practical work to study No. 5 of the Amateur Photographer handbooks, and then practise.what is there taught. It has been said that a successful retoucher must be an artist and an anatomist. Possibly this is true, but any one with a little practice can learn sufficient retouching to be able to soften down glaring freckles and other defects, natural or appertaining to the process. Negatives should be varnished before proceeding to actual printing, and although this is too frequently a bugbear to the amateur, it is, like everything else, merely a question of practice. The choice of printing process is always a difficult one. Many sitters who are ignorant of photography prefer the ordinary albumen print, merely because they have never seen any other process. For small work, such as cartes-de-vtute, gelatino-chloride paper, white will give good results, but for larger work, such as cabinets, whole-plates, etc., a matt-surface paper is far superior. To this category belong matt-surface chloride papers, rough *bromide paper, printing-out platinotype, the ordinary platinotype, and mezzotype. In choosing a process we must look at the character of the negative. Thus for a flat, thin negative a gelatino-chloride paper should be used, as this tends to increase of contrast; for a plucky negative with decided contrasts this paper should be avoided, and a rapid bromide paper or platinotype, used. Vignetting is by no means difficult, and, in some cases, is of advantage for cutting off unnecessary details in the backgrounds, etc.; but it should be well done to be effective. Then, again, the character of the vignette should be chosen in accordance with the style and character of the picture. Thus, a sitter in a white dress against a dark background should be vignetted, not with the margins white, which would detract from the high lights of the picture, but the edges should shade off darker, which is obviously done by shading the centre from the action of light and allowing the edges to blacken and bronze in the sun. A sitter in a dark dress against a light background may be vignetted in the usual way. Instruction for making " doubles p - that is, two repre-sentations of the same person on one plate - will be found under the heading Polypose ; and under the same heading are some hints as to multiple portraits based on the principle of the kaleidoscope.
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