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Charles Reutlinger's studio (Paris)
Published in "Wilson's Quarter Century in Photography. A Collection of Hints on Practical Photography which form A Complete Text-Book of the Art" by Edward L. Wilson (New York: Edward L. Wilson, 1887), p.85, fig.79.
26. In Europe one finds much less attention paid to skylight construction than in America. One of the reasons for this is because of the crowded quarters with which the photographer must be content in many localities. Many studios are in the form of an annex to some great structure a hotel, for example, and on the roof.
One of the best models is that of Mr. Charles Reutlinger, the veteran Parisian photographer. It will be gathered from the description that it has many disadvantages. (Fig. 79.) The studio is exposed to the north, is quite plain, and is 30 feet long by 15 feet wide; but of the length only 16 feet are of glass; the balance is a small room, which was added to give it more length. The glass side is 9 feet high, and is divided into three parts. 1st. The lower part G, is a wall 1 1/2 feet high, 2s. The middle part, F, 4 feet high, is of stained glass. 3d. The top, E, 4 1/2 feet, is of common white glass.
The whole roof of this is made of stained glass. To guard against the strong rays of the sun in summer, a blind over the whole length of the roof is used which has a height of about 5 feet, and is managed by a crank inside of the studio. Besides, there are inside six different screens or curtains of blue calico, to shade the light from the top, and also to guard against the reflection of the sun from the houses opposite. There is only one side where one can sit the model; and it is only when they sit for small vignettes that one can place them on the other side, on account of the shortness of the studio. This accounts for all Mr. Reutlinger's productions being lighted from the same side, which is very troublesome with a great many subjects. Another inconvenience is the small width. For this reason, he is unable to have his backgrounds on frames, as is usually the practice. He uses rollers, which are let up and down, with balustrades, chimneys, columns, etc., as auxiliaries. We see by this, that the greatest caution and order in the small remaining space is necessary for the posing of persons, and many outsiders are astonished that so many pictures are made in such a small, insignificant room.