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.
Grade Of Post Cards. The different brands of sensitized post cards on the market are numerous. The most popular seem to be "Velox," "Azo," "Cyko," and "Argo." All are good, working very much alike and it rests entirely with the user as to which brand to employ to obtain the best results. We would advise the use of reliable products. Learn to use them so as to get the best effects and when thoroughly familiar with a certain product stick to it.
1064. All manufacturers supply post cards in a variety of grades and surfaces. Each brand has a special name, letter or number. They are all known, however, as "hard " or "soft," in the surface desired. The hard is to be used for thin negatives lacking contrast. The surface is supplied in either smooth, matte or semi-matte. The smoothness, however, varies according to its manufacture. The soft grade should be used on negatives having the desired contrast. These are more sensitive than the hard, and, therefore, print faster. The glossy surface is extremely glossy and is suitable for glazing. As most postal negatives are developed thin for quick printing, the hard grade is almost universally used.
1 16 x 20 tray for Hypo.
1 16 x 20 (or larger) Washing Tray.
1066. These trays should be used only for the one purpose for which they are intended: Developer for developer only; Hypo for hypo only; Acid Clearing Bath for acid clearing only; Water tray for washing only. A good plan is to either letter or number each tray to avoid danger of mistakes occurring.
Printing Light And Printing. While perfectly practical to print post cards by the use of daylight, it is preferable to use artificial light. Artificial light is steady and more even than daylight. Daylight at 12 o'clock noon is of course much stronger than at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and, therefore, makes a great difference in the length of an exposure. Artificial light remains practically of the same strength at all times. To print post cards the exposure is practically the same as on any gaslight or developing paper. When post cards are made in large quantities, an electric light similar to Illustration No. 7 should be employed.
Printing With White Margin. In order to print a white border, whether oval or square, will require cutouts, or masks made of black or opaque paper. Any desired opening may be made and the mask placed on the film side of the negative between the paper and film. (See Chapter XL (Dodging In The Printing), Dodging in the Printing, for cutting masks.)
1070. All post cards or prints on heavy paper should be printed with a very small white border. This gives a finished appearance. Borders are best applied to dark backgrounds, and vignettes are most pleasing when made on white grounds.