The Mirror and The Camera
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.
THE MIRROR AND THE CAMERA
By Walter E. Woodbury
Quite a number of novel effects can be obtained by the aid of one or more mirrors. If two mirrors are take and placed parallel to one another, and a person placed between, the effect obtained is as shown in Fig. I, where one soldier appears as a whole regiment drawn up into line. To make this experiment we require two large-sized mirrors, and they must be so arranged that they do not reflect the camera and the photographer, but give only multiple images of the sitter. This will be found quite possible; all that is necessary is to make a few preliminary experiments, adjusting the mirrors at different angles until the desired effect is obtained.
The use of an ordinary mirror in portrait work has enabled photographers to produce very pleasing results. There is often a very striking difference between the full and side views of a person’s face, and by means of such a combination as this, one is enabled to secure a perfect representation of both at the same time. In making reflection portraits it has often been noted that the reflection has a more pleasing effect than the direct portrait. The reason of this is that it is softer and the facial blemishes are not so distinctly brought out. There is naturally a slight loss of detail, but this is by no means a drawback. The worst fault of the camera in portrait photography is the tendency to include every detail which the artist would suppress. It not only includes all the detail, but often exaggerates it to a painful extent. By making a portrait by reflection this defect is avoided. Of course the image is reversed, but this is in most cases of little consequence; in fact, the sitter himself would be more likely to consider it a far more truthful likeness, for when we look into a mirror we do not see ourselves as others see us, but a reversed image. With some faces the difference is quite striking.
Woodbury, Walter E. Photographic Amusements. Boston: American Photographic Publishing Co., 1922.