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ground, if merely a differentiation of tone, that would bring the two figures closer together. If two figures stand or walk very near to each other as in Figs. 114, 122, 128, it can be left to the space between the heads. The hymn book in the latter of course was necessary, as it is the only pictorial element in this picture. In Fig. 115 it is accomplished by the double angles of the lady's arm and the gentleman's arm and hand; in Fig. 121, by the little girl's arm holding the shell. In Fig. 119 it is entirely absent, and there is no unity in the picture.
A particularly interesting composition that calls for special analysis is Hawthorne's "Boys with Fish," Fig. 118. There are four conspicuous shapes of different sizes: one large oval, the pan with the fish; two small ovals, the faces of the two boys; and the long irregular shape of the fish that is held up. Three of these forms are placed in a parallel way, the fourth and largest one in a diagonal shape. All four together make a sort of circular shape. A great painter would have made it more decided.
For the success of a composition depends as I have stated over and over again on some interesting irregular or, if possible, geometrical shape. It should not be overconspicuous to the beholder, but its form should be there to regulate all the elements of construction and render them as agreeable to sight. The eye has a natural inclination to unite opposite sides and corners, and traversing the surface of the picture it should be attracted first by one point, and then with perfect ease glide from this point to another, taking in all details, surprises, and beauties of the subject represented. And this the simplest forms do best.
PARIS DURING THE FLOODS.
[The following correspondence is extracted from a personal letter of Miss Marian Elizabeth Adams to her father, the Editor of this magazine. It is dated at Paris, Feb. 1st.]
HE New York papers must have exaggerated the state of affairs in Paris, if they gave the impression that all of the city was in peril. We are situated so far from the river, and on the slope of a hill, that we were never in any danger, and we have been going on with our work just as if nothing had happened. It never occurred to us that you would be worried.
"The only possible danger that there has been in any part of the city, is in those quarters which are very near the river, where it has overflowed the adjacent streets, filling them with water, like the canals in Venice. The people here had to go around in boats. Of course, the foundations of the houses on these streets were in danger, and the conditions were rather unsanitary to live in; many people, therefore, left their homes, and went to live in hotels, farther away from the river. Another serious thing was that the sewer pipes, which, filled with water, burst, thus causing 'cave ins' in the streets.
"Everything has been under splendid management; and, with the help of the army, and the liberal sums of money which were sent into Paris, the city will soon be restored to its normal state. The Seine has already gone down considerably, and we have been having magnificent days, the people seem to be very much encouraged; and, as usual, are optimistic. It was a unique and interesting sight to see the streets flooded with water; and, as we felt that there was no particular cause for alarm, we enjoyed very much prowling about in the worst quarters, making pictures of the curious effects to be seen there.
"This morning, for instance, we started out in our old clothes, with our cameras, to see the sights, and we spent a most interesting morning. In the first place, we crossed the quarter called Grennell, where we saw a perfect sea of water, looking down from the elevated. A few houses were sprinkled about, here and there, and people were rowing about in the streets in boats and on rafts. It gave a most curious effect to the picture, particularly when one thought of that quarter as it usually is, with dry streets, filled with traffic.
"In front of the Hospital des Invalides, where there are so many fine, old, aristocratic homes, the park and streets were entirely submerged, and the park benches, which we were used to seeing, looked very ridiculous, standing there in four feet of water, with their top railings just showing.
"I made several snapshots of people in rowboats, rowing through the streets to their homes, and several of the river itself, rushing under the bridges. On the way home I took one of the Pont Alexandre, and the Petit Palais, and the Champs Elysees in both directions. I send prints of them herewith."
[The photographs referred to above have not as yet been received, being sent under separate cover. They will be published in our April issue.]
HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS ON COLORING PHOTOGRAPHS.
BY F. FAY GUTHRIE.
HERE is a great demand at the present time for well colored photographs. One sees them in the shop windows decorating calendar valentines, Easter and birthday souvenirs, and the like. Even high-class professional photographers in our large cities are showing exquisitely colored portrait studies.
Coloring photographs is an attractive home work and one which can be turned to financial account by one proficient in the art. So a few suggestions as to materials and modus operandi may prove helpful to readers of THE PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES desiring to take up this work, whether for pleasure or profit.
The materials needed to begin with are two good sable brushes, number ten for all general work, and number one for portraits, one small fine-grained sponge, some good lintless blotters, a stick of India ink, and the following tubes of color: Warm sepia, burnt sienna, cobalt, indigo blue, Indian yellow, light cadmium, emerald green, vermilion, and rose carthame. These colors are sufficient for all ordinary work as almost any shade may be formed from them by judicious mixing. Ordinary water colors in the half pans may be used if a little gum arabic is dissolved in the water with which they are mixed. But I find the regular photographic colors (which can be purchased from any dealer in photographic supplies) much better, since the beauty in a tinted photo lies in the purity and transparency of the colors. It is almost impossible to get this result with the ordinary water color paints. One exception to the above general statement is rose carthame, a beautiful rose pink indispensible for portraits, flowers, drapery, sunsets, etc. It is necessary, however, to use great care when using this color, for it will spot if it is not diluted with plenty of water and washed on.
Now as to the kind of paper to be used,-I have tried about all the brands. on the market and have not found one which I could not color successfully. But the most satisfactory results are obtained on papers having a soft finish. such as matte and semi-matte papers. P. O. P. and glossy developing papers on which the colors do not "take" must first be sponged with a weak solution of alcohol and water.
Work beside a window giving a good light, work slowly and carefully, for photographs will not stand the manipulation that water color papers will. Once a color is on it cannot be washed out with the brush nor rubbed out with an eraser. Therefore, keep the print damp and lay color on with successive washes of diluted color until the desired depth of tone is reached. Putting the color on in one heavy wash gives the print a "dauby" look and destroys
all transparency. Several good colored studies will help greatly in deciding what tints to use, but a little careful study of Nature herself will be of still greater help.
Suppose we have a rather uninteresting little landscape which we have treasured because it was one of our first efforts in the art pictorial. It has a blank expanse of sky, a few trees, grass, and perhaps a little lake or stream in the foreground. This will make a very good subject to begin, print several so that practice may be had treating the same subject in various ways. A blue sky filled with fleecy white clouds is the most difficult to make and had better not be attempted at first. If there is only a tiny bit of sky try a cloudless blue, remembering that a blue sky is hazy gray at the horizon and deepens in hue as it nears the zenith. If there should be a wide expanse of sky in the print it is best to either trim the print or put in a sunset. The sunset it will be found, is not so hard to make as one might imagine. But it must be borne in mind that Nature loves contrasts and that even the most brilliant sunsets are not all "crimson and gold." With these colors we find pale yellow, rose pink, purple, and even tiny patches of blue or gray, all exquisitely blended. Keep the print damp and wash on with sufficient water to blend the colors and prevent a dauby appearance. When tinting the remainder of the print remember that grass and trees are not often the same shade of green, nor are trees of different species. A very thin wash of blue will give the trees in the distance a hazy look. The little lake or stream should reflect the color of the sky, except where the shadows lie or where trees or bushes on its margin are reflected in shadowy green.
With the right materials, patience, and a little painstaking study this work can be made both pleasurable and profitable.
A SIMPLE METHOD OF BLUE PRINT SENSITIZING.
BY JOHN D. MAYER.
THE amateur who would like to sensitize cloth, paper, and other materials, with a blue print solution, without going to the trouble of mixing up the standard citrate of iron and ammonia, and cyanide of potassium formula, the following simple method may be of value.
Procure from any architects' supply house, a yard of their regular blue print paper. Be sure that he gives you the slow grade, as the salts that are added to the extra rapid papers render it unsuitable for our pursolution to deteriorate very rapidly, and give to the Having secured the paper, proceed as follows to Wash the cloth thoroughly to remove all traces of
pose, by causing the finished print little contrast. sensitize a piece of cloth.