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for the wind to be still lest our foliage should be blurred; and what can be more charming than to catch the varied and graceful curves of trees bending before the breeze, the ripple upon the water, the cattle grazing in the field, the shepherd tending his flock, the farmer's team returning home, the ever varying and always picturesque life around an old English farmstead? But it must be remembered that a lens of itself will not make a picture. It is not enough to point a camera at an object and straightway take it ; this will result in a photograph truly, but, except by rarest chance, not in a picture. Yet there is no reason why a photograph should not be a picture in black and white, if the lens is used with brains. How many photographs are pictures ? Not one in a thousand, or ten thousand for that matter.
Photographs as a rule fail lamentably in pictorial effect and sadly lack the charm of mystery. In them all objects are, but too often, sharply defined, things distant as well as things near at hand, as though one viewed Nature through a telescope; the eye is overburdened with detail, and wanders restlessly all over the photograph. We found that our most pleasing pictures were secured by putting the subject very slightly out of focus ; thus we obtained a feeling of mystery-something was left for the imagination to supply.
As a rule photographs have their lights too much scattered, the minor and less interesting objects being asserted as plainly as the more picturesque and important ones. It
be that it is a bit of ugly straight wall that is thus brought prominently forth,
spoiling an otherwise excellent composition. Such an object an artist would either conveniently hide in shade or improve away altogether, but this the less favoured photographer cannot do. We found, however, that by toning down the majority of stray lights, the general spotty look of a photograph was in a great measure avoided, and breadth secured. The
very perfection of a modern lens, unless most skilfully employed, is fatal to the production of really artistic work, the more especially as, having such a lens, the photographer prides himself above all upon the sharpness of his focus, forgetful of the fact that the eye can see only one portion of a view at a time. We do not want to count every leaf on a tree or every stone in a building; art was not given us for that.
Clouds too, that so enhance the beauty of a scene, should, whenever possible, be secured. A cloudless sky has a bare appearance and wants interest. Also the genuine rustic adds greatly to the charm and natural look of a country scene, and should be got into the picture when practicable, but he must be at his ease, and not manifestly standing to be took,' staring straight at the camera. Far better altogether away than thus.
Rustic figures, though easy to secure by the judicious expenditure of a few coppers, are difficult to deal with successfully, but we managed them in this wise. Having secured our rustic, we placed him where required, being careful not to pose him ; then, whilst he stood ready as stiffly and awkwardly as possible, we pretended to take himpretended merely, for though we uncapped our lens we kept the lid of our slide undrawn. Then we would
FIGURES IN THE LANDSCAPE.
recap our lens and talk to him about all sorts of things, and when he assumed a careless natural attitude we would quietly touch the spring of our instantaneous shutter, the result being a picture in black and white, though a photograph.
Most figures introduced into photographs, as I have before remarked, suggest the idea that they are merely standing where they are to have their likenesses taken, the landscape becoming a mere background to a portrait. Such figures are in the landscape truly, but not of it ; they lend no interest to it, tell no story, and irritate rather than please the eye. Photography has too long been a science ; let us hope that some day it may become an art. The mere mechanical production of a photograph is a simple matter; picture-making by aid of the lens and camera requires something more than mechanical skill—it requires the feeling and eye of an artist.
Bury St. Edmunds—Mr. Pickwick a Personality-At the Sign of the
Angel-An Old-fashioned Host-English-grown Tobacco-St.
Arriving at Bury St. Edmunds, it was a pleasant change to find ourselves once more, after our long and lonely stage, amongst the cheerful homes of
It will be remembered that the worthy Mr. Pickwick visited Bury during his travels ; I quote from Dickens's immortal work. The coach rattled through the well-paved streets of a handsome little town of thriving and cleanly appearance, and stopped before a large inn situated in a wide open street
early facing the old abbey · And this,” said Mr. Pickwick, looking up, “is the Angel. We alight here, Sam."
And it was at the Angel that Sam Weller was 'took in' by Job Trotter.
Finding that this ancient inn was still existing, we determined to take up our quarters there. It happened that we arrived on a day when a flower show was being held in the town, so that when we drove in to the ample courtyard of the Angel we
CHAT WITH MINE HOST.
discovered it to be full of carriages, coachmen, and footmen in various liveries, giving the place quite a gay, bustling look, in strange contrast with the deserted appearance of inn yards generally, save in country towns upon a market-day. This gathering of carriages afforded us some idea of the aspect that these old courtyards must have presented to our road-travelling forefathers.
Strolling into the cosy bar of our inn during the evening we found our worthy landlord installed there; a landlord of the old-fashioned school was he, in keeping with his ancient hostelry. We joined him in a pipe and glass of whisky as an excuse for a chat.
I may here state that we had already made acquaintance with our good-natured host, for whilst we were at dinner he came into the room to see to our entertainment, manifestly taking a personal interest in the welfare of his guests. Such little attentions are very pleasing, and we felt at once that our lines had fallen in pleasant places.' Said we, as we took a seat and lighted our pipe, 'Is this not the very hotel in which the famous Mr. Pickwick is supposed to have stayed ? ' Supposed !! replied the landlord, indignantly; this, sir, is the inn where he stopped. I've the very carving knife and fork that that gentleman used when he was here; ivory-mounted they are, they go with the hotel, and were handed to me when I took it. We were quite unprepared for this reply. Here again we found fiction so strong as to be believed a fact, the clever creation of the novelist turned into a reality! Manifestly the landlord was in earnest when he made his