Three years later…

Its taken three years of searching but Ive managed to find an early edition of Twenty Three Years Under a Sky-Light Or Life and Experiences of a Photographer by H.J.Rodgers.

Usually they can be found for around £200- £400, this one was 1/10 of that price although a little rough around the edges.


” Much of this is a humorous treatment of all the mistakes made by photographer and sitter with advice for the sitter; the running title throughout is ‘The people’s guide to photography’. Rodgers was an adherent of the doctrines of physiognomy and phrenology and urges that phrenology be part of the education of all artists in his chapter on phrenological photography.”


  1. Brief History of the art of Photography
  2. Photography among the fine arts
  3. Dress – its color, language, arrangement, etc
  4. Expression – How to look beautiful in pictures. How to create beauty
  5. Peculiarities, physical blemishes, and imaginary defects
  6. Position – Figural or corporal expression
  7. Phrenological Photography
  8. The various phases of laughing and smiling
  9. Facial resemblance between man and the brute creation
  10. Light, as connected to Photography
  11. Durability of Sun pictures
  12. The “dark room”
  13. The Camera Obcsura
  14. The operating room
  15. To young men – How to look well in pictures
  16. To young women – How to look beautiful in pictures
  17. Hints to men of more advanced years
  18. Final chapter to women old and young
  19. Perplexities of a Photographers life
  20. Pleasures of a Photographers life
  21. The cosmetic arts
  22. “Hair Invigorators and Restorers”
  23. A pleasant stroll among Photographer and Artists
  24. Conclusion
  25. Memorium of the late Prof. Samuel F. B. Morse

There are a number of peculiar and amusing plates to illustrate the book.

And, yes, I could have bought a facsimile but its never quite the same thing is it?