History and Practice of the Art of Photography Part 11

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If, in coloring any part of a lady's or gentleman's apparel, it is found necessary to produce other tints and shades, the following combinations may be used:

Orange--Mix yellow with red, making it darker or lighter by using more or less red.

Purple--This is made with Prussian blue, or indigo and red. Carmine and Prussian blue producing the richest color, which may be deepened in the shadows by a slight addition of indigo or brown.

Greens--Prussian blue and gamboge makes a very fine green, which may be varied to suit the taste of the sitter or operator, by larger portions of either, or by adding white, burnt sienna, indigo, and red, as the case may require. These combinations, under different modifications, give almost endless varieties of green.

Brown--May be made of different shades of umber, carmine and lamp-black.

Neutral tint--Is composed of indigo and lamp-black.

Crimson--Mix carmine and white, deepening the shaded parts of the picture with additional carmine.

Flesh Color--The best representative of flesh color is light red, brightened in the more glowing or warmer parts, with carmine, softened off in the lighter portions with white, and shaded with purple and burnt sienna.

Lead Color--Mix indigo and white in proportions to suit.

Scarlet--Carmine and light red.

For Jewelry cups of gold and silver preparations accompany each box for Daguerreotypists, or may be procured separately.

The method of laying colors on Daguerreotypes is one of considerable difficulty, inasmuch as they are used in the form of perfectly dry impalpable powder. The author of this little work is now experimenting, in order, if possible, to discover some more easy, artistic and unexceptionable method. If successful, the result will be published in a future edition.

The rules we shall give for coloring Daguerreotypes depends, and are founded, upon those observed in miniature painting, and are intended more as hints to Daguerrean artists, in hopes of leading them to attempt improvements, than as instructions wholly to be observed.

The writer is confident that some compound or ingredient may yet be discovered which, when mixed with the colors, will give a more delicate, pleasing, and natural appearance to the picture than is derived from the present mode of laying them on, which in his estimation is more like plastering than coloring.

IN COLORING DAGUERREOTYPES, the princ.i.p.al shades of the head are to be made with bistre, mixed with burnt sienna, touching some places with a mixture of carmine and indigo. The flesh tints are produced by the use of light red, deepened towards the shaded parts with yellow ochre, blue and carmine mixed with indigo, while the warmer, or more highly colored parts have a slight excess of carmine or lake. Color the shades about the mouth and neck with yellow ochre, blue, and a very little carmine, heightening the color of the lips with carmine and light red, letting the light red predominate on the upper, and the carmine on the lower lip; the shades in the corner of the mouth being touched slightly with burnt sienna, mixed with carmine.

In coloring the eyes, the artist will of course be guided by nature, observing a very delicate touch in laying on the colors, so as to preserve as much transparency as possible. A slight touch of blue--ultramarine would be best if it would adhere to the Daguerreotype plate--in the whites of the eye near the iris, will produce a good effect.

In coloring the heads of men it will be necessary to use the darker tints with more freedom, according to the complexion of the sitter.

For women, the warmer tints should predominate, and in order to give that transparency so universal with the softer s.e.x--and which gives so much loveliness and beauty to the face--a little white may be judiciously intermingled with the red tints about the lighter portions of the face.

In taking a picture of a lady with light or auburn hair, by the Daguerrean process, much of the beauty of the face is destroyed, on account of the imperfect manner in which light conveys the image of light objects to the spectrum of the camera. This may be obviated in some measure by proper coloring. To do this, touch the shaded parts with burnt sienna and bistre, filling up the lighter portions with yellow ochre, delicate touches of burnt sienna, and in those parts which naturally have a bluish tint, add very delicate touches of purple--so delicate in fact as hardly to be perceived. The roots of the hair at the forehead should also be touched with blue, and the eyebrows near the temples made of a pinkish tint.

The chin of a woman is nearly of the same color as the cheeks in the most glowing parts. In men it is stronger, and of a bluish tint, in order to produce the effect given by the beard.

In portraits of women--the middle tints on the side of the light, which are perceived on the bosom and arms, are made of a slight mixture of ochre, blue and lake, (or carmine), to which add, on the shaded sides, ochre, bistre and purple, the latter in the darker parts. The tints of the hands should be the same as the other parts of the flesh, the ends of the fingers being a little pinkish and the nails of a violet hue.

If any portion of the fleshy parts is shaded by portions of the dress, or by the position of the hand, this shade should be colored with umber mixed with purple.

TO COLOR THE DRAPERY.--Violet Velvet--Use purple made of Prussian blue and carmine, touching up the shaded parts with indigo blue.

Green Velvet--Mix Prussian blue and red-orpiment, shade with purple, and touch up the lights with a little white.

Red Velvet--Mix a very little brown with carmine, shading with purple, marking the lights in the strongest parts with pure carmine, and touch the most brilliant slightly with white.

White Feathers--May be improved by delicately touching the shaded parts with a little blue mixed with white. White muslin, linen, lace, satin, silk, etc., may also be colored in the same way, being careful not to lay the color on too heavily.

FURS--Red Furs may be imitated by using light red and a little masticot, shaded with umber. Gray Furs--black and white mixed and shaded with bistre. Sable--white shaded lightly with yellow ochre.

These few directions are quite sufficient for the art, and it is quite unnecessary for me to pursue the subject further. I would, however, remark that the Daguerreotypists would find it greatly to their advantage to visit the studies of our best artists, our public galleries of paintings, and statuary, and wherever else they can obtain a sight of fine paintings, and study the various styles of coloring, att.i.tudes, folds of drapery and other points of the art. In coloring Daguerreotypes, artists will find the magnifying gla.s.s of much advantage in detecting any imperfections in the plate or in the image, which may be remedied by the brush. In selecting brushes choose those most susceptible of a fine point, which may be ascertained by wetting them between the lips, or in a gla.s.s of water.



The last number (for March, 1849) of the London Art-Journal, gives the following description of a recent improvement in Photographic Manipulation, and as I am desirous of furnishing everything new in the art, I stop the press to add it, entire, to my work.

"Since the photographic power of the solar rays bears no direct relation to their luminous influence, it becomes a question of considerable importance to those who practice the beautiful art of photography, to have the means of readily measuring the ever changing activity of this force. Several plans more or less successful, have been devised by Sir John Herschel, Messrs. Jordan, Shaw and Hunt. The instrument, however, which is now brought forward by Mr. Claudet, who is well known as one of our most successful Daguerreotypists, appears admirably suited to all those purposes which the practical man requires. The great difficulty which continually annoys the photographic amateur and artist, is the determination of the sensibility of each tablet employed, relatively to the amount of radiation, luminous and chemical, with which he is working. With the photographometer of Mr. Claudet this is easily ascertained. The following woodcuts and concise description will sufficiently indicate this useful and simple apparatus.

[Ill.u.s.tration: Fig. 30 (hipho_30.gif)]

"For an instrument of this kind it is important in the first place to have a motion always uniform, without complicated or expensive mechanism. This is obtained by means founded upon the principle of the fall of bodies sliding down an inclined plane. The sensitive surface is exposed to the light by the rapid and uniform pa.s.sage of a metal plate, A, B, (Fig. 31,) having openings of different length, which follow a geometric progression. It is evident that the exposure to light will be the same for each experiment, because the plate furnished with the proportional openings falls always with the same rapidity, the height of the fall being constant, and the angle of the inclined plane the same. Each opening of this moveable plate allows the light to pa.s.s during the same s.p.a.ce of time, and the effect upon the sensitive surface indicates exactly the intensity of the chemical rays. The rapidity of the fall may be augmented or diminished by altering the inclination of the plane by means of a graduated arc, C, D, (Fig. 30,) furnished with a screw, E, by which it may be fixed at any angle. The same result may be obtained by modifying the height of the fall or the weight of the moveable plate. The photogenic surface, whether it be the Daguerreotype plate, the Talbotype paper, or any other preparation sensitive to light, is placed near the bottom of the inclined plane, F.

It is covered by a thin plate of metal, pierced with circular holes, which correspond to the openings of the moveable plate at the moment of the pa.s.sage of the latter, during which the sensitive surface receives the light wherever the circular holes leave it exposed.

[Ill.u.s.tration: Fig. 31 (hipho_31.gif)]

"The part of the apparatus which contains the sensitive surface is an independent frame, and it slides from a dark box into an opening on the side of the inclined plane.

"A covering of black cloth impermeable to light is, attached to the sides of the moveable plate, enveloping the whole inclined plane, rolling freely over two rollers, R, R, placed the one at the upper and the other at the lower part of the inclined plane. This cloth prevents the light striking the sensitive surface before and after the pa.s.sage of the moveable plate.

"It will be seen that this apparatus enables the experimentalist to ascertain with great precision the exact length of time which is required to produce a given amount of actinic change upon any sensitive photographic surface, whether on metal or paper. Although at present some calculation is necessary to determine the difference between the time which is necessary for exposure in direct radiation, and to the action of the secondary radiations of the camera obscura; this is, however, a very simple matter, and it appears to us exceedingly easy to adapt an instrument of this description to the camera itself.

"By this instrument Mr. Claudet has already determined many very important points. Among others, he has proved that on the most sensitive Daguerreotype plate an exposure of .0001 part of a second is sufficient to produce a decided effect.

"Regarding photography as an auxiliary aid to the artist of no mean value, we are pleased to record a description of an instrument which, without being complicated, promises to be exceedingly useful. In this opinion we are not singular; at a recent meeting of the Photographic Club, to which this instrument was exhibited, it was with much real satisfaction that we learned that several of our most eminent artists were now eager and most successful students in Photography. The beautiful productions of the more prominent members of this club excited the admiration of all, particularly the copies of architectural beauties, and small bits of landscape, by Messrs. Cundell and Owen. We think that now the artist sees the advantage he may derive from the aid of science, that both will gain by the union."

I hope the above description will induce our townsman, Mr. Roach, to successfully produce an instrument that will meet the wants of our artists in that part of the Daguerrean process referred to.


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History and Practice of the Art of Photography Part 11 summary

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