The Dictionary Of Photography

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

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Printing
are not strictly true, but are yet more artistic. Thus, in the case of a low-lying horizon, the uniform tint of the sky is extremely unnatural and really untruthful, as we never hardly find in nature a sky so barren of clouds or colours as to present one uniform unbroken tint, as given by the agency of the camera and dry plate. In such a case the sky may be graduated in tint from pure white at the horizon to a deeper tint in the zenith, or we may have recourse to a second negative, and print in some fine masses of clouds. The author has in his possession a print of a bit of an Essex marsh, as flat and as uninteresting in itself as it is possible for anything to be, but the whole has been converted by means of a cloud negative into one of the finest pictures it is possible to produce, the clouds giving one the impression of a dull, windy day in autumn, in which the cattle huddle together and turn their backs to the gale, and man instinctively buttons up his coat and bends his head to the wind. It is, I think, as clever and suggestive in its way as any of the grand compositions of J. W. M. Turner, perhaps the only true artist who could depict wind and clouds. Again, by use of a second negative a figure may be introduced into an otherwise uninteresting stretch of country, giving life and beauty to the whole, and raising the composi-tion at once above the mediocre photograph. To effect such composition requires true artistic skill and considerable clever manipulation in a photographic sense. The usual method of making such an effect is to print the subject, such as a stretch of land, first, and to utilise this print as a mask. For this purpose the outlines must be carefully cut out with a pair of scissors, and after a second print has been taken, to place the first and cut-out mask over the second print, and place on top of it the cloud or second negative, and again expose to light till the second negative has printed in sufficiently deep. Another method is to paint over the first print with gamboge or some other non-actinic paint, and print again under the second negative when dry. This method, however, is not so satisfactory. For tinting the skies a piece of sheet tin or stout cardboard should be used, and one end bent up to about an angle of 45 degs. This can be placed over the print, and the whole exposed to daylight, the metal or cardboard being moved up or down, so as to graduate the tinting. It is only by practice that success in this branch of printing can be obtained, the chief difficulty being to so blend
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