292. As has already been suggested, there is a wide field for the exercise of artistic taste in photographic printing, and the Lesson A is quite as deserving of the study of the printer as of the gentleman who poses the model. Indeed, if the printer is ingenious and full of feeling for his art, he will oftentimes be able to improve upon the negatives given him to print, by exercising his art - knowledge, and by resort to the many little subterfuges that will suggest themselves in individual cases, and which can be hardly described in a book. He should know that his results must be brilliant; there must be a proper contrast of light and shade, which may be regulated or not, according to the nature of the subject and the pose, and the tone, too, must be managed to suit the character of the whole. Again, negatives must be humored and " doctored " and " im-
292. I first print the portrait in the usual way, leaving large masses of pure light, or, at any rate, tones, which, if toned and fixed at this stage, would represent white when finished. On removing the print from the pressure - frame I fit carefully over it a plate of glass of the same size, on which I make sundry opaque mark s - spots or streaks, as the case may be - by means of any opaque body, such as water color, oil color, or varnishes. The exact spot where this opaque body has to be applied, is ascertained by interposing the plate of glass between the negative and the eye, a strong source of illumination being behind both, and touching out here and there those points and spots where the highest light is wanted, such as on the eye, the ridge or tip of the nose, the shirt, breast, etc. When a glass is thus prepared, it is placed over the printed and still sensitive photograph, now removed from the pressure-frame; and, the greatest care having been taken to secure perfect registration, the picture is exposed to the light for a sufficient time to allow a decided tint to be printed all over, except, of course, in those parts covered by the opaque touches on the plate of glass. The effect of this second exposure is that the whole of the picture previously printed is lowered in tone, with the exception of the touches referred to. Some parts - as, for example, a touch of light on the eye - should be sharp and well - defined; others may be softer and vignetted, so to speak, in the surrounding semitone. The former is obtained only by the opaque stopping being effected on that side of the glass placed next to the print. Softness of outline, on the contrary, will be obtained by working on the side of the glass farthest removed from the paper. - Edwin Cocking. (226) proved" and managed in various ways, some of which will be described, and others will be found in Mr. Hearn's more elaborate work on this part of our art , the Practical Printer. "Style" also is to be regarded in printing as well as else where?
298. To print fast or slow, that is the question. On this subject doctors do not disagree in theory, but they do in practice. Undoubtedly slowly printed results are the richest and the best, but in practising our art, one would obtain sufficient prints by any slow means of prodncing them. Consequently, moderately rapid printing must be resorted.I to, and negatives are made accordingly. It happens sometimes, however that they are too weak.. Then ground - glass, a varied number of tissue - paper, an opaque coating, or other means is need to retard the action of a too rapidly printing negative, and often it must be treated in other ways, too, to secure from it the best possible results.
296. I have seen negatives of that grade that the finest prints could be obtained from them if the light was diminished by covering them with five or six sheets of green window glass. This shows that the negatives have no photographic opacity of themselves, which must be conferred upon them by a weak light. Indeed, they possess all the qualities of a fine solar camera negative. I have tried to obtain negatives of a similar character, and believe I have succeeded by using the following developer: Mix two solutions, one of
Nitrate of Baryta,..................
The other of
Protosulphate of Iron,..................
A white precipitate (of sulphate of baryta) is formed. Filter off the clear solution, and mix with
Expose fully, and apply the developer until all details of the shadows have appeared. If the light was good, and a short - focus lens has been used, no intensification is necessary. The negatives were very ably retouched by the brush with carmine; and in some places of very clear shadows the glass side of the negative was covered with carmine. No pencil touching has been used with them. I may here mention that a few of our professional photographers adopt the same course in printing, and go even so far as to say that no print can be good if produced in less time than a whole day. They print under a glass roof, and through roughened glass, in order to give the print as diffused a light as possible. Strangely enough, the same effects are produced if we protract the time used in printing by diminishing the amount of chloride in the sensitive paper. I prepared three batches of albuminized paper with four, two, and half per cent, of chloride. The highly salted paper printed in half the time the half per cent, paper used, and the prints were so different that it seemed doubtful whether the same negative had been used for the two, although this had been done. The less chloride used the less sensitive the paper, and the more contrast between light and shadow. For what we call a negative of ordinary printing density, a paper salted with two per cent, of chloride of ammonium is generally the best. - Dr. E. Liesegang.
294. Again, the negative may be so dense as to print not only slowly, but to yield harsh and hard results impossible to tone with any degree of richness. This occurs when the plate has been undertimed, or too unwisely intensified. There are those who like "black and white" pictures, but nothing can be more disgusting to an artist with cultivated taste than a print utterly devoid of delicate half - tones - coarse and hard and harsh. To prevent such, whether the order warrants it or not, for your own name's sake, "doctor" the negative so it will have a chance to do its best.