Saturday, February 14, 2009

Reproduction of a Multiphotograph

A very pretty system of photography, enabling us to see ourselves as others see us, and affording opportunity for much range in the art of posing, is the multiphotograph. If an image is placed in front of two mirrors inclined to each other at an angle of 90°, three images will be produced in the mirror; at 60°, five images will be produced; and at 45° seven images; and if the mirrors are parallel, theoretically an infinite number of images will result.
In the process of photography which we illustrate advantage is taken of this to produce at one exposure a number of different views of the same subject. The person to be photographed sits with the back to the instrument, while in front of the face are two mirrors, set at the desired angle to each other, their inner edges touching. In the case illustrated these mirrors are inclined at an angle of 72°. Four images are produced. The exposure is made, and on the developed negative appear not only the back view of the subject, but also the four reflected images in profile and different three-quarter positions. The courses taken by the rays of light are determined by the law that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. In the diagram we have traced the rays of light on their course from subject to mirror and back to the camera, giving a good idea of the relation of the images to the subject and of the five images to the focal plane, the virtual position of the images being further from the instrument than is the subject proper.
The gallery equipment for this class of work is shown in one of the views, while the appearance presented by a full length figure with the aid of the mirrors is shown in another cut. A very interesting illustration of what can be done by this process is presented by the reproduction of a photograph actually taken, where the interesting expression and marked characteristics of the face serve to bring into strong prominence the utility of this process for representing the human face.
It is obvious that simple as the process and idea appear, it might have many uses in the study of other forms of nature.
In: Scientific American, October 6, 1894, p.216

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