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. Develop in normal developer, watching the plate carefully as the image begins to appear. If it shows signs of contrast, treat it as an under-exposed plate, by placing it in plain water for a few minutes, finally finishing the developing in normal developer. The amount of developing it is possible to do in plain water, after the plate has become saturated with developer, is surprising. We recommend free use of this method. The water reduces the strength of the developing agent already on the plate, and retards the high-lights, while the shadows continue to develop. Should the plate come up gradually, the relative values developing evenly, continue until the proper density is produced. This style of lighting is quite sensitive to changes in the developing, so watch the plate carefully. Developing one plate at a time is advised until thorough familiarity with the developing of this style of lighting is gained.
Practice Work. First, open the entire skylight; then, at the end of the room it is proposed to place the subject, draw the side shades almost to the top. If there is sufficient space back of the skylight, place the subject 11 ft. from the side-light and 3 ft. back from the skylight; in other words, locate the subject about 3 ft. from a point directly under the edge of the skylight. (See diagram of floor plan.)
302. If there is not sufficient space back of the skylight to permit placing the subject and background at such a distance, draw the first shade on the skylight down to the bottom. This will cut off about 3 ft. of skylight. Then, by placing the subject on a line with the end of the sidelight and directly underneath the edge of the top-light, a position 3 ft. back of the source of light is secured. When that is accomplished place the background at least 3 ft. back of the subject. Next, draw one shade on the top-light
Study No. 18
J. E. Rosch about half-way down, or sufficiently to give an angle of light of about 45 degrees. This will cut off all the harsh light over the head of the subject.
303. Next place the diffusing screen between the light and the subject, having all the curtains drawn. Place the screen within about 4 ft. of the subject and observe the effect of the diffusion on the face. If the screen does not diffuse the light sufficiently place it nearer to the subject, until it almost flattens the high-lights. Then provide an opening in the upper row of curtains, by separating the tan curtains on the screen enough to give catch-lights on the face. Should the balance of the figure be too strongly illuminated, draw the black curtains over the screen until the proper amount of diffusion is supplied.
304. The light on the subject is controlled by the diffusing screen. By turning the end nearest the camera to or from the light, more or less broadness of the light is produced.
305. Reference to the diagram of the floor plan will illustrate the angle of the screen as it was used to make the accompanying illustration.
306. If, after supplying catch-lights and general diffusion you find that the shadows are not sufficiently illuminated, place the reflecting screen within 4 ft. of the subject and turn it at an angle from the light. (See diagram of floor plan.) In this way the subject should be perfectly lighted.
307. Now, place the camera within 6 ft. of the sidelight, or at any position where the best contour of the face may be obtained. All is then ready for the exposure, which with an ordinary rapid lens should not require more than from three to four seconds, all depending, of course, upon the amount of illumination employed.
308. After making the first exposure try a second exposure of the subject in the same position, this instance giving slightly longer time and for the sake of the practice it might be well to make a third exposure, moving the camera in one direction or the other to obtain a different view of the face. It might be well to place the diffusing screen slightly closer to the subject, thus supplying a more diffused lower key of light. In making this exposure give the same time accorded the others, and upon development, observe the effects of the different exposures, also the change in diffusion and in the reduction of the strength of light. 309. Make proof prints from all negatives, noting all data pertaining to the producing of the various results. These proofs will serve as a guide for future work, and should be filed in the proof file.