Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/485

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COMPOSITE PORTRAITS.

ness of the family in question. The other cousins I should disregard. The weights, as previously mentioned, would be bestowed by giving proportionate periods of exposure.[1]

Composites on this principle would undoubtedly aid the breeders of animals to judge of the results of any proposed union better than they are able to do at present, and in forecasting the results of marriages between men and women they would be of singular interest and instruction. Much might be learned merely by the frequent use of the double-image prism, as described above, which enables us to combine the features of living individuals when sitting side by side into a single image.

I have as yet had few opportunities of developing the uses of the composite photographic process, it being difficult without much explanation to obtain the requisite components. Indeed, the main motive of my publishing these early results is to afford that explanation, and to enable me to procure a considerable variety of materials to work upon. I especially want sets of family photographs, all as nearly as possible of the same size and taken in the same attitudes. The size I would suggest for family composites is that which gives one-half of an inch interval between the pupil of the eye and the line that separates the two lips. The attitudes about which there can be no mistake are: full face, an exact profile, say, always showing the right side of the face, and an exact three-quarters, always showing the left; in this, the outer edge of the right eyelid will be only just in sight. In each case the latter should look straight before him. Such portraits as these go well into cartes de visite, and I trust that not a few amateur photographers may be inclined to make sets of all the members of their family, young and old, and of both sexes, and to try composites of them on the principles I have described. The photographs used for that purpose need not be in the least injured, for the register marks may be made in the case into which they are slipped, and not in the photographs themselves.—Nature.

  1. Example: There are 5 brothers or sisters and 5 cousins whose portraits are available; the total period of desired exposure is 100 seconds. 5 4 5 25; 100/25 4; which gives 4 4 16 seconds for each brother or sister, and 4 seconds for each cousin (5 x 16 5 x 4 100).