Day Dreams

Day Dreams

First titled Study in Home Portraiture and published full page in the Oct. 1906 Photographic Times, (a variant print with the model’s right hand hanging loose on the sill) this interior study by amateur Charles Rollins Tucker (1868-1956) later appeared as a full-page halftone in the July, 1907 issue of Camera Craft magazine, and is a representative example of the pictorialist work that regularly appeared in its pages.

Camera Craft editor Fayette J. Clute wrote a lengthy article on the Postal Camera Club, a group in 1907 listing 26 mostly amateur photographers from around the United States, (he was a West coast member) for the issue. The group’s purpose was to gain criticism and insight into their work by sending through the mail a rotating portfolio album each month. Day Dreams by C.R. Tucker was published along with Clute’s article.  As an example of the typical constructive criticism passed on to each member along with the album each month, Camera Craft published commentary by Postal club members for Day Dreams which had been included in the January, 1907 Postal album as well as technical information for the photograph:

Subject:  “Day Dreams.”   Photographer,  C. R. Tucker


Date:  June, 1906. Time: 4 P. M. Light:  Sun shining on window. Stop: F-6.8.  Exposure:  One second.  Plate: Cramer Instantaneous Isochromatic, not backed.  Developer:  Ortol. Camera: Premo.  Lens:  Plastigmat, seven and one-half inch focus.  Paper: Angelo Sepia.  Remarks:  Very weak developer on unbacked Isochromatic plate gives me no halation.


A magnificent picture with light well handled. Flowers well placed. The arm I think is a little strained and looks uncomfortable. I said the light was well handled, but think toning down the high light on sitter’s lap would improve what is already a very good thing. I have got a set of prints ready for you, Mr. T., and you might send me one of these.    Zerbe.

My criticism is that the bottom of the dress seems a bit too much spread out, and that the arm on the window sill is a bit stiff; if the wrist had been bent, allowing the hand to hang, the pose would have been easier. Nevertheless, a good thing.  Whitney.

I have another negative in which the hand does hang over the sill; this is usually called the better. See “Photographic Times” for October. 1906.   Tucker.  (PhotoSeed note: C.R. Tucker apparently favored this print of the two and printed it as an exhibition print with this example in 1915)

Another that is too good for me to comment on. Thank you for the remarks.    R. C. B.


A very attractive picture. I think the trouble with the arm is that the sill is a trifle too high.    K. B.


The suggestion that the dress is spread out too much at the bottom; that the arm is a little strained, the cause being the high sill, and that the light on the lap be toned down, all meet with my approval. These are minor faults, however, and I like the print very much. The absence of halation, for an unbacked plate, is excellent.     R. P. Hines.


A little too much dress at the bottom, which seems to occupy about one-half the picture. Too good, however, to allow me to find any other faults. I’d like one, Brother Tucker—I’ll exchange.     W. H. Arnold.

My only criticism is that it is too small; it’s excellent work. 
    F. C. Rogers.


I think this is about perfect. It is simple and effective, with a quiet dignity becoming the subject. I think, however, that with the camera a little lower, the left shoulder would have been raised and the seat appeared less broad. A longer focus lens would have lessened the importance of the rather assertive mass of the skirt.     Clute.

Following is given a list of the present membership: William T. Knox, New York, New York; William H. Zerbe, Richmond Hill, New York; Chester M. Whitney, Bayonne, New York; C. R. Tucker, New Brighton, New York; William A. Fiske, Putnam, Connecticut; C. F. Clarke, Springfield, Massachusetts; R. C. Burckes, Winter Hill, Massachusetts; Miss Katharine Bingham, St. Johnsbury, Vermont; Percy R. Hines. Schenectady, New York; Will H. Arnold, Elmira, New York; R. H. Beebe, Arcade, New York; C. L. Gray, East Liverpool, Ohio; William H. Phillips, East Liverpool, Ohio; E. W. Sawyer, Springfield, Ohio; E. Stanley Thomas, Fremont, Ohio; C. H. Jongejans, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Mrs. W.W. Pearce, Waukegan, Illinois; Brugh Werner, Decatur, Illinois; Richard Hines, Jr., Mobile, Alabama; Freeman C. Rogers, Pueblo, Colorado; Henry Kern, San Francisco, California; Fayette J. Clute, San Francisco, California; P. S. Campbell, Decatur, Illinois; Miss C. M. L. Lewis, Falmouth, Massachusetts; Mrs. Elinor Smith, New York, New York, and H. W. Schonewolf, Albany, New York.  (pp. 322-24)

print notes recto: signed in graphite (faint) at lower right corner of print: C.R. Tucker 1915

Day Dreams

Image Dimensions27.3 x 20.4 cm center-glued

Support DimensionsDetail: 43.2 x 35.5 cm two-color cardboard