Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Twice Told Tuesday - Posing


Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

OUR ILLUSTRATIONS
Anthony's Photographic Bulletin
1897

The photographers of old took they're work very seriously striving for professionalism in all aspects. So much so in posing that an entire book was written and illustrated with photographs on the subject. I own a photograph similar to Plate VI and have always wondered how it was done.

In a recent issue we announced that Mr. C. Hetherington was engaged upon a new book, "Studies from Leading Studios," in which would be presented a series of object lessons that cannot fail to be of immense value to all interested in portrait photography. Through the kindness of Mr. Hetherington we are permitted to reproduce six of the illustrations from this book. Each of these is a whole volume of information, and should receive the earnest consideration of our readers. We append details of their production.
Plate I
Plate I.—This shows how to handle a large group, and was made by Mr. Hetherington himself at the studio of Huntington & Clark, of Detroit, Mich. His plan of handling such groups is to first pick out seven or eight of the largest men and make a group of them in the center of the picture. Then, by adding small groups, he works from the center towards each end. In other words, his groups are made up of small groups. Observe that the floor line is nicely broken, and also the top line. Notice, also, the lack of hands and feet in tie picture. The background, too, is eminently suitable, in that it does not in any way detract from the group.

Plate II
Plate II.—A beautiful group, made by J. M. White, Port Huron, Mich. The posing of hands, heads and eyes is very good, and the subjects look as if interested in a good story, and momentarily distracted by a new-comer. The picture looks as if it were taken in a parlor.
Plate III
Plate III.—This picture of our good friend, Mrl George Bassett, and his daughter Millie, is a nice suggestion for a group of two.
Plate IV
Plate IV.—A beautiful pose, by J. Leask Ross, formerly with Morrison, and now operator for the Taber Photo Studio, San Francisco.

Plate V
Plate V.—A study by Hetherington, made with a single slant skylight, in Chicago, at the American Aristotype Company's School of Photography. The subject was placed about 10 feet away from the light, and the curtains were let up all the way. Then a 6 x 8 background was placed between the sitter and the light. The light was allowed to pass over the top of this ground and to fall on the subject. The exposure was fifteen seconds.
Plate VI

Plate VI.—Portrait of J. Leask Ross, by C. Hetherington. When this plate was developed, every mark upon it was visible on the negative. Take a piece of ground-glass the same size as the negative, place it in the plate-holder and focus. The subject must now keep the body still until the exposure is made. Take a piece of crayon and sketch the coat on the ground-glass. Now insert the plate in the holder, replace the latter on the camera, vignette (with a vignetter on front of the lens), the head and collar, make the exposure and close the plate-holder. Then focus on a piece of rough canvas and expose the same plate on this canvas and develop. Print on Aristo-Platino paper, and tone only with gold, enough to clear the whites. Fix well, and the resulting print will have the appearance of a red chalk drawing.


 "Illustrations," Anthony's Photographic Bulletin. New York: E. & H. T. Anthony & Company, 1897.

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