366 IDEAL HOME LIFE
are out plumb, feet and hands in portraits grow to unseemly sizes.
If you have a picture in which a house leans backward, it is certain proof that your instrument was not level when you took the picture. In all small hand cameras you must hold the instrument level when taking any picture which includes "right lines" such as a building, a pole, or a statue.
If the horizon line runs up or down hill, the camera, while it might have been level, was not plumb—that is, it was held tilted to one side or the other. The remedy—next time—is obvious. The remedy—this time—is to trim the finished print so that the edges and the horizon are parallel.
Too large hands and feet in a portrait photograph mean that you were too close to your sitter and that his hands and feet, being much nearer the camera than his body, "took," therefore, just so much larger. For instance, making a portrait of a man sitting down, with his face six feet from the camera, brings his knees perhaps two feet nearer the camera— four feet away. They are at but two-thirds the distance of the face. Remember to take large figures from a side view and to have such pictures with the sitters as nearly as possible in one plane, and you will avoid such distortion.
Brightness of Light
One of the hardest things the beginner has to learn is the difference between the visual brightness of light and its photographic brightness, or actinic value. Anyone can see that the light is brighter in the sunlight than in the shade of a tree, but few beginners realize that there is much difference between the light under a shady tree and in a house with windows open. Yet the light in any house, even a bright one, is almost invariably at least a hundred, and often several hundred, times slower, photographically, than the light under a shady tree outdoors.
In the same way, it is difficult for the beginner to understand why he should wait until 8:30 in the morning in summer before attempting snapshots. When the sun comes up in a