Figure Composition in Photography

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  • Figure Composition in PhotographyAuthor(s): Tudor Jenks and E. S. BennettSource: The Monthly Illustrator, Vol. 3, No. 11 (Mar., 1895), pp. 353-355Published by:Stable URL: .Accessed: 15/05/2014 23:36

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    PHIOTOGRAPHY is the legritimate daughter of art, and

    scienlce is but lher nutlrse. 'Tlhe motive that urged milent

    to fix the image of the camera obscura, was the love of

    the beautiful rather tlhan the desire of knowledge. 'Tlhe

    manifold apl)lications of the camera to indclustries and

    comiamerce tendcl to obscture its linieage; an cl the i;rofes

    sional photographer, who mllust conlsicder first tht' comll

    mercial side of his business, nlaturally lenids himllself to

    hiis art's cleo-radlationi. His pati-oiis pay for resemnblIance

    andcl to secure resemiblanice witlh the least expendlitutre

    of time, taste, audI trouible, will bring him the most geni

    eral and best-paying custoilm. But the amateur shIouldC

    be an artist. He canl never comiipete wvitlh professionals

    upon their clhosen field, but lbe has already shown that

    whlere pure art is concernied the professional is ou"t of

    the race.

    Tlhe artistic quality to wvhiclh photography canl best

    establish its claiml- is comiipositioni-tlbe arrangement of objects artistically. l he

    draftsmani slhould excel in accelnt, the colorist in harmony, anid chiaroscuro may xvell be sttuldiecl by both as a miieanis ____ _ ____

    to\vard reachlinig aniy especial quality. But in photography accenit is r-eachecl

    olyl through dI 1 loCIges "' in printing or

    retoucllin, ainld color-harmony is out

    of the qulestioll. BuLit composition is for

    the photographer as for the dlraftsimiani

    or- colorist. From giv-eni objects hie may

    conlstruict a picture or milake a hotchl

    potch ; andl his ar-tistic ranik is deter

    iminied by his position betw-een these ex t re mies.

    AW'itlh this paper ar-e somiie illtustr-a

    tiolis of picture-making, with sl)eciall r-eferenice to the possibilities of compo sitioi before the camera. The picture,

    for example, " No Thoroughlfare,'' is

    onae whlier-e the g-rouplilng is (ood0, the

    attittucles are pleasillo, andcl the comiposi

    tionl is simple and(i effective. It is lack ill) o1lyN7 in a bit of " Slherlock Holimies"

    dletail. If the inotice wvere real, the gate

    wvould be closecl, or at least capable of N'O TllOlhOlCHJ ARE

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  • Figure Composition in Photog,rphy 355

    beinlog closed ; and nlowN, the sigll is so

    placecl that the gate must slhut against it.

    TIlhe Dryad's Patlh " is excellenitly

    coniposed, in that the attentioni is con

    centrated oni the figure, the linies of the

    pose are graceful, anid the masses suffi

    *cien-tlv brokeni. Possibly the picture

    Would have gainied in suLgoestiveness

    if the eves lhacl beeni dir-ected down

    ward. Best of all is "Thl e Cross-cut."



    The linles are clmarilliolvIx varied, the

    (la-rk points well placecl, anid thie broadl

    lighlits harmonizecl. The avoidance of

    the vertical linie gives a subtle sugges

    tioIn of ImlotioIn. This picture it w\ould

    be difficult to imipr-ove. T akeni altoo-etlher, the pictures are

    pleasinig andcl satisfactory-and what an

    adlvance they ar-e over the hicle-bound

    subject with hiis headl in a vise, anid his

    hand oll a. tLuncalted pillar




    THAT'SI HIS A130T1, NO-!

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    Article Contentsp. [353]p. [354]p. 355

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Monthly Illustrator, Vol. 3, No. 11 (Mar., 1895), pp. 259-384A Reminiscence of George Inness [pp. 259-268]Peasant Life in Normandy [pp. 269-275]Leaves from Nature's "Yellow Book" [pp. 276-280]Oriental Travel under Protest [pp. 281-287]Le Faout and Its Patron Saint [pp. 288-289]Jean Valjean [pp. 290-304]A French Master [pp. 305-312]Early Artistic Watches [pp. 313-320]A Bird-House Town [pp. 321-324]An Art Vol-au-Vent [pp. 325-332]Some Revolutionary Reminiscences [pp. 333-340]The Kivas and Kisis of Tusayan [pp. 341-348]The Cross and Serpent in Aboriginal American Art [pp. 349-352]Figure Composition in Photography [pp. 353-355]The Hypnotism of Paul Tillier [pp. 356-363]Lakes in Art: Killarney [pp. 364-368]Monda (Concluded) [pp. 369-377]The Refinement of the Line [pp. 378-379]A Philosopher and a Butterfly [pp. 380-384]


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