THE TINY EQUESTRIAN! Sometimes I am concerned that I can’t adequately write accurately enough to tell all you readers just how wonderful an archivally taped sixth plate actually is. His father, who had commissioned a daguerreotypist to visit their home and make a remembrance of his little lad, seated this young boy on his favorite pony. Let me tell you that the operator would have prepared several plates in advance at his studio. He might have visited the home prior to the day of the event and designated a location on the first sunny day. He had realized that the shot would be horizontal and he polished his plates in the appropriate direction, from left to right as we view the image. This gent was an accomplished artisan. He KNEW all about light. How many of you have pointed your cameras at a subject in open shade with sunlight beyond, received the print and realized that the subject was too dark? The exposure was made for the subject’s skin tones, since he and his animal were remarkably still on a dirt path in (if you guessed “open shade” you win a prize). Bright blazing sunlight streamed onto the whitewashed fence. (No I don’t think this was Huck Finn’s reward). It dappled the leaves, in their full summer splendor, and overexposed much of the grassy knoll below the fence. The cameraman was in complete control of the tableau. His concentration was so great that he artistically arranged the kid’s plaid jacket behind him. He instructed his subject to hold the reins against his pet’s neck while turning his head towards the lens. If we examined nothing but the child’s pose with the fantastic illumination on his face and his excellent posture, this would be a thrilling portrait. With the addition of a live animal and all the other possible pitfalls, can you begin to comprehend the importance of the maker’s superlative effort? A few mold spiders are nestled amongst the patina in the upper right corner and there are some brown age spots. A fine leather case completes the masterpiece!
The Tiny Equestrian, Sixth Plate Dag