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Natural Color

object, principal and nature


• NATURALISTIC.—The dictionary meaning of this term is—in accordance with nature. The term has recently been applied to photographs made slightly out of focus. This was first advocated by Sir W. J. Newton, a miniature painter, about the year 2856. Later on, in the year 1874, Dallmeyer constructed a lens specially for this object; by its means the focus of the lens could be diffused by slightly altering the position of the lenses. The latest advocate of so-called Naturalistic Photography is Dr. P. H. Emerson, who has warmly defended it against a storm of deriders. In his work, written on the subject, he says—" The principal object in the picture must be fairly sharp, just as sharp as the eye sees it; but everything else and all other planes of the picture must be subdued, so that the resulting print shall give an impression to the natural scene. But, at the same time, it must be distinctly understood that the fussiness ' must not be carried to the length of destroying the structure of any object, otherwise it becomes noticeable, and by attracting the eye detracts from the general harmony, and is then just as harmful as excessive sharpness would be. Experience has shown that it is always necessary to throw the

principal object slightly (often only just perceptibly) out of focus to obtain a natural appearance, except when there is much moisture in the air, as on a heavy mist-laden gray day, when we found that the principal object (out of doors) may be focused quite sharply, and yet appear natural, for the mist scattering the light softens the contours of all objects. Nothing in nature has a hard outline, but everything is seen against something else, and its outlines fade gently into that something else, often so subtilely, that you cannot quite distinguish where one ends and the other begins. In this mingled decision and indecision, this lost and found, lies all the charm and mys tery of Nature. This is what the artist seeks, and what the photographer, as a rule, strenuously avoids."