This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Development. Even though all other operations have been performed in the most careful manner, improper development may ruin what would otherwise be an excellent interior negative. The treatment in developing depends entirely upon the lighting, the amount of contrast and the depth of shadows; also, the strength of the highlights in the view. Where a great amount of contrast prevails, development should be carried on in a soft working developer. When ordinary plates are used they should be started to develop in the normal developer. The formula for Universal Developing, given in Volume II, is recommended.
73. In addition to tray containing normal developer, in which all plates should be started to develop, provide an extra tray; pour into it a liberal quantity of developer which has been previously used - old developed - adding very little of the normal developer to it. If the image on the plate flashes up quickly on all parts of the plate at the same time, the plate is probably over-exposed. In this case, transfer it immediately to the old developer. This old developer contains a certain amount of bromide, released from plates previously developed with it, and will, therefore, retard the development. The plate will develop satisfactorily unless extremely over-exposed, in which event it will develop flat. Under such conditions add to your normal developer from ten to fifteen drops of a 10% solution of bromide of potassium, concluding the developing in this bath. See instruction on "Developing Over-exposures," Volume II. Quite often a plate, after being treated in this way, is benefited by finally being placed in a normal developer which contains one-third the regular amount of water. This gives a developer stronger in pyro than the normal developer, which will build up the high-lights very quickly, giving more contrast.
74. In case a plate is under-exposed and develops slowly, with too much contrast, place it into a tray of plain water for ten minutes, away from the light. Then conclude developing in the normal developer, which has been diluted with double the amount of water. See instruction on "Developing Under-timed Plates," Volume II.
Developing Specially Prepared Plates. If the plate you are about to develop is backed, carefully remove the backing with a wet sponge, and proceed with the developing as already described. If paper backing is used it need not be removed before developing; the plate can be developed in the ordinary way. The backing may be removed when it becomes soft in the developer. If the plate is non-halation, it must be carried further in the developing than the ordinary or backed plate, as it will fix out considerably more. Use a rather dilute developer on these double coated plates, so that development can be prolonged sufficiently to affect the lower emulsion, which will take about double the usual time. After development, rinse for a few minutes in fresh water and fix in the usual way, leaving the plates in the bath until entirely fixed, which, owing to the thickness of the film, will take twice the time of a single coated plate. If the plate is taken from the bath before it is thoroughly fixed it will very likely become stained. The final washing must be thorough. Most failures are due to under-developing, the negatives produced being extremely thin, full of detail, with little or no printing quality. When using Iso or Orthochromatic non-halation plates, they may be developed in normal developer according to formula given for Universal Developing, but excellent results can be obtained by proceeding in the following manner:
PORTRAIT OF CHILD Study No. 4 - See Page 401 Chas. E. Fairman.
Illustration No. I. Simply Arranged Dining-room. See Paragraph No. 78.
76. Of the regular stock solution of sodas (formula given for Universal Developing), take 1 ounce of Stock Solution No. 3 (Sulphite of Soda) and 1 ounce of Stock Solution No. 4 (Carbonate of Soda) adding to this 6 ounces of water, making in all 8 ounces of solution. Mix these solutions thoroughly; then divide into two parts, 4 ounces in one graduate and 4 ounces in another. To one of these graduates add 2 ounces of Stock Solution No. 2 (regular Pyro solution). Start your development of the color sensitive plate in this solution. From time to time add from second graduate a little of the sodas which have already been prepared. In this way the high-lights will be kept ahead of the shadows throughout the development. Continue to add more of the sodas as you develop until all the detail necessary is secured. This method is useful only where full exposure has been given, as under-exposure will not produce satisfactory results.
77. As these plates are extremely sensitive to all colors of light - even your dark-room lamp - they should be carefully handled in the dark-room without exposure to any light. During development, cover the dark-room light with a couple of extra pieces of post-office paper. Do not examine the negative too often, and not at all until it is nearly developed; then it should be briefly examined by extremely dim ruby light. By carefully adding the sodas, it will be found, when all the detail necessary has been secured, the plate will be fully developed, having been built up gradually as it developed.