Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/737

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apple-tree and not of a lady.” Similar remarks might be made on seeing many photographs. It is a cardinal error in their case, that they give a stronger tone to accessories than to essentials. They present a conglomerate of furniture, and it is only after careful inspection that a man is detected sticking among it, whose portrait is to form the picture. In another case a quilted white blouse is seen, and it is only after some time that a girl's head is perceived rising above it. A park is seen in a landscape, with fountains and other adornments, and it is only after some time that a black coat is seen confounded with an equally dark bush.

It may, perhaps, excite surprise that the writer ascribes greater truth to painting than to photography, which is generally regarded as the truest of all methods of producing pictures. It must be self-evident that the remark has only been made in connection with works of the first masters. One of the great services of photography is that it has rendered impossible those daubs of inferior artists formerly offered for sale in every street. But the perfect picture of the photographer is not self-created. He must test, weigh, consider, and remove the difficulties which oppose the production of a true picture. If his picture is to be true, he must take care that the characteristic is made prominent and the accessories subordinate. The non-sensitive plate of iodide of silver cannot do this. It receives the impression of all that it has before it, according to unchangeable laws. The photographer attains this end, on the one hand, by appropriate grouping of the original; on the other, by a proper treatment of the negative. I admit that to do this he must also be able to detect what is characteristic and what accessory in his original.

Therefore, whoever wishes to undertake any photographic production must first become familiar with the object that he wishes to take, that he may know what he has to do. The photographer will not, indeed, be able to control his matter, like the painter, for the disinclination of models and the optico-chemical difficulties often frustrate his best endeavors, and hence there must always be a difference between photography and a work of art. This difference may be briefly summed up by saying that photography gives a more faithful picture of the form, and art a more faithful picture of the character.



A LITTLE before five o'clock on the morning of the 2d of last October, a train of four barges was being towed by a steamer along the Regent's Canal, in the northwestern distract of London. The second of these barges was laden with a miscellaneous