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.
441. It is almost always necessary to alter the drapery to some extent in the average portrait negative. No matter how careful the drapery may have been handled by the photographer, some little fold may be out of place, or, perhaps, may have caught too strong a light. This latter difficulty occurs especially in the case of light draperies. In cases where men's coats are not freshly pressed, wrinkles may occur which will have to be straightened out. Both pencil and etcher will come into play and you should know how and where to apply these, to produce the best effect.
442. Folds and wrinkles in ladies' dresses can be removed by carefully working the shadows with a soft lead. This can also be done on men's coats and trousers. The crease in the trousers may be straightened by working a straight line with the pencil, and removing the crooked parts with the etching knife.
Strengthening Catch-Lights On Drapery. Ladies' waists and gowns, if white, can be improved by skillful manipulation of the pencil. In the case of chiffon trimmings or draperies a slight intensification of the high-lights with the pencil will add to the detail and brilliancy. Frequently an entire gown can be improved by penciling the catch-lights throughout. A BB pencil will be found most suitable for all this kind of work. The penciling must be done very carefully, otherwise it will appear harsh and too bold. In cases of plain satin you may outline the entire gown following the high-lights on the folds with a BB pencil, and strengthening them. By doing this you supply catch-
lights and accentuate the shadows by reason of the greater amount of contrast thus formed.
444. Be very careful not to apply the lead too heavily. Work on the high-light side of the fold only, for if the lead be allowed to touch any other part, the effect will be ruined. The folds of the drapery which are in shadow must be treated very carefully and, if any lead is applied to them, you should use only enough to accentuate the catch-lights and give them the same relative strength as the highest lights in the picture.
Ladies' Gowns. In all gowns having the same colored lace trimmings, more contrast can be obtained in the lace by tracing over the design with a soft (BB) lead, working in catch-lights where they will improve the effect. With the etching knife scrape the film slightly in the openings of the design on the shadow side only, thus accentuating them. To scrape the film or accentuate the shadows too much will give harsh effects, so work lightly and carefully. When working on dark draperies or when a gown is trimmed with dark-colored lace, a harder pencil, such as an HH, may prove best suited for the work, as there will be less danger of getting the high-lights too strong.
Black Gowns. As the high-lights are soft and the shadows velvety in black gowns, the greatest care must be exercised in attempting to make alterations or to accentuate these high-lights or shadows. The high-lights must be made broader than is required for light gowns. The shadows in the folds can be accentuated by carefully scraping the film, but this is seldom necessary, and by no means advisable if the proper amount of contrast can be secured by building up the high-lights.