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Professor Henry P. Bowditch, M. D., lectured in the Jefferson Physical Laboratory last evening on "Composite Photography," and it is presumed that the Camera Club attended in a body. At any rate a good sized audience was present, considering the threatening weather, and all seemed considerably interested in the lecture, which was one of the most interesting that has been given in the Laboratory for some time. The subject was admirably illustrated by the stereopticon under the supervision of Professor Trowbridge.
The best composite photographs are obtained from the negatives of separate pictures. It was the custom in the case of faces to place one over the other, in such a manner that the eyes should occupy as nearly as possible the same position, but recently the best results have been obtained by placing the points midway from the eyes to the mouth over each other. It makes no matter in what order these negatives are photographed.
Dr. Bowditch concluded that where a type exists among a group of faces the composite photograph can be trusted to give faithfully all that is typical of the several faces. Valuable applications of this principle have been made. For instance, composite photographs have been made of people suffering from a particular disease as a guide for doctors in forming a diagnosis. The effect of different studies such as mathematics and natural history on a face may be observed. If is a curious fact that a composite photograph is generally more beautiful than any one of the component pictures. Dr. Bowditch suggested that another valuable application of the art would be for every photographer to keep on hand negatives of selected persons, so that a man when having his picture taken could order a slight resem balance of Daniel Webster or George Washington run in.
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