Paper , Shadows and Light. - In February 1853 sir William Newton made an address to the Photographic Society that rocked the Photographic world . Sir William was a renowned painter of portrait miniatures indeed he was appointed miniature painter to William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1833 and painter to Queen Victoria . He was knighted in 1837 the year of her accession . In his address he stated that the subject should be a little out of focus .What his audience heard were the words “Out of Focus “ . Lady Elizabeth Eastlake in her 1857 article on The History of Photography called it Newton’s Heresy although it is fair to say that she supported his view . The controversy this caused rumbled on for decades . I am convinced that he was referring to the new process by Frederck Scott Archer . The Calotype as you see is naturally soft because it is printed through the fabric of the paper something embraced by the first great photographic partnership , that of Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill.
In February 1853 sir William Newton made an address to the Photographic Society that rocked the Photographic world . Sir William was a renowned painter of portrait miniatures indeed he was appointed miniature painter to William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1833 and painter to Queen Victoria . He was knighted in 1837 the year of her accession . In his address he stated that the subject should be a little out of focus .What his audience heard were the words “Out of Focus “ . Lady Elizabeth Eastlake in her 1857 article on The History of Photography called it Newton’s Heresy although it is fair to say that she supported his view . The controversy this caused rumbled on for decades . I am convinced that he was referring to the new process by Frederck Scott Archer . The Calotype as you see is naturally soft because it is printed through the fabric of the paper something embraced by the first great photographic partnership , that of Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill.
Paper , Shadows and Light. - A Samuel Buckles process Calotype . On Klug archival photographic paper.Rodenstock Bistigmat lens at F26 corrected for Chromatic Aberration .And focused so that the hands of the clock were sharp. Newton recommended that the lens be stopped down as it gave the best mid tones. 4 1/2 minute exposure in bright sunshine. This was waxed prior to printing
A Samuel Buckles process Calotype . On Klug archival photographic paper.Rodenstock Bistigmat lens at F26 corrected for Chromatic Aberration .And focused so that the hands of the clock were sharp. Newton recommended that the lens be stopped down as it gave the best mid tones. 4 1/2 minute exposure in bright sunshine. This was waxed prior to printing
Paper , Shadows and Light. - Inverted scan from the Calotype. The Sharpness of the scan is softened by the necessity of printing through the fibres of the Calotype. In1856 Newton exhibited a print at the London photographic society , made by the Calotype process called  At Betchworth I suspect it was in Betchworth Park but it may equally have been this lovely Surrey Church.

Inverted scan from the Calotype. The Sharpness of the scan is softened by the necessity of printing through the fibres of the Calotype. In1856 Newton exhibited a print at the London photographic society , made by the Calotype process called " At Betchworth" I suspect it was in Betchworth Park but it may equally have been this lovely Surrey Church.

Paper , Shadows and Light. - At the same time I do not conceive it to be necessary or desirable for an artist to represent or aim at the attainment of every minute detail , but to endeavour at producing a broad and general effect , by which suggestions which nature offers , as represented by the camera , will assist his studies materially : and indeed for this purpose I do not consider it necessary that the whole of the subject should be what is called in focus ; on the contrary, I have found in many instances that the object is better obtained by the whole subject being a little out of focus , thereby giving a greater breadth of effect , and consequently more suggestive of the true character of nature. 
At the same time I do not conceive it to be necessary or desirable for an artist to represent or aim at the attainment of every minute detail , but to endeavour at producing a broad and general effect , by which suggestions which nature offers , as represented by the camera , will assist his studies materially : and indeed for this purpose I do not consider it necessary that the whole of the subject should be what is called in focus ; on the contrary, I have found in many instances that the object is better obtained by the whole subject being a little out of focus , thereby giving a greater breadth of effect , and consequently more suggestive of the true character of nature. 
Paper , Shadows and Light. - Samuel Buckles process Calotype on Klug archival photographic paper . Rodenstock Bistigmat lens this time not corrected for chromatic aberration. F26 as before . 4 1/2 minute exposure in full sun . Unwaxed.
Samuel Buckles process Calotype on Klug archival photographic paper . Rodenstock Bistigmat lens this time not corrected for chromatic aberration. F26 as before . 4 1/2 minute exposure in full sun . Unwaxed.
Paper , Shadows and Light. - Inverted scan from the calotype. The difference between the lens being corrected and uncorrected is barely perceptible .
Inverted scan from the calotype. The difference between the lens being corrected and uncorrected is barely perceptible .
Paper , Shadows and Light. - Correct definition, so important where minute forms and the varieties of textures are required , is in a general sense not absolutely necessary to render photography of great use to artists , for the moment he attempts a slavish imitation of the camera picture , he is no longer an artist . But supposing the artist – photographer to have one of the best instruments which could be constructed it is undoubtedly true , as stated by Sir William Newton, that his studies would be greatly assisted by throwing his objects out of focus , by which the forms are rendered indistinct , the minute details or lines as they are commonly called , vanish , .leaving only the large masses of light , half tint and shade to be judged of . The specimen sent by Sir William Newton was a good Instance of this application of a non focal adjustment of the lenses . R W Buss Painter and Illustrator of the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.

Correct definition, so important where minute forms and the varieties of textures are required , is in a general sense not absolutely necessary to render photography of great use to artists , for the moment he attempts a slavish imitation of the camera picture , he is no longer an artist . But supposing the artist – photographer to have one of the best instruments which could be constructed it is undoubtedly true , as stated by Sir William Newton, that his studies would be greatly assisted by throwing his objects out of focus , by which the forms are rendered indistinct , the minute details or lines as they are commonly called , vanish , .leaving only the large masses of light , half tint and shade to be judged of . The specimen sent by Sir William Newton was a good Instance of this application of a non focal adjustment of the lenses .

R W Buss Painter and Illustrator of the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.

Paper , Shadows and Light. - Samuel Buckles process Calotype on Klug archival photographic paper . Rodenstock Bistigmat lens this time not corrected for chromatic aberration. F26 as before . 4 1/2 minute exposure
Samuel Buckles process Calotype on Klug archival photographic paper . Rodenstock Bistigmat lens this time not corrected for chromatic aberration. F26 as before . 4 1/2 minute exposure
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