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.
1033. My apparatus is the simplest imaginable. I use one of the rooms in my office for making Bromide enlargements. This room has only one window, which faces south. This window I cover with a screen made of a light frame-work of pine, covered on one side with green shade-cloth, on the other with rosin paper. Into the lower part of the screen is inserted a frame, into which is fitted a short wooden box or tube; the end of this tube which fits into the frame in the screen, has a flange, the outer side of which is covered with felt strips. This tube is held firmly against the frame by means of a couple of wooden cleats. The other end of the tube fits the back of my camera when the focusing screen is removed, and is held against the camera by means of stout rubber bands and a couple of picture hooks. A portion of the board forming the upper side of the tube is not nailed firmly down, but is hinged, so that the board near the opening in the screen can be raised for inserting the negative into slots on the inner sides of the tube or box. Negatives can then be easily removed and inserted.
1034. I use my regular camera and lens for all my enlarging. The lens is an Extra Rapid Manhattan Symmetrical (5 x 7) which I have had for about 10 or 11 years. I always use the lens wide open (it works at f. 8).
1035. To diffuse and equalize the light I use several sheets of white tissue paper, one pasted to the window-pane, the other to the outer side of the screen-opening.
1036. For an easel I use a flat box placed on end. One side of this box is covered with white paper upon which I have marked, with heavy black lines, the outline of the different sizes of sheets of Bromide I use, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2, 8 x 10, 11 x 14, etc. The box is placed upon a small table and both box and table can be readily moved backward and forward as necessary.
1037. Having placed the screen in the window and adjusted the wooden tube to the screen and the camera to the tube, I insert my negative into the slots (near the screen end of the tube), put down the hinged cover, cover the whole with a focusing cloth, open the shutter and rack the bellows in or out until I get a sharp image upon the white paper which covers the box used as an easel. If the image on this focusing screen is larger than I want, I move the box closer to the camera and rack out the bellows until I have my image of just the proper size and sharpness. I then close my shutter, place the ruby lantern on top of the camera, and pin the Bromide paper upon the place marked out for that particular size. With the shutter set for time exposures I press the bulb and make my exposure, counting the seconds by estimate. I never use test strips, as I can judge from experience the proper exposure under almost any condition of light.
1038. If any part of the negative needs less exposure than the remainder it can be shaded by means of a piece of cardboard interposed between the lens and paper. To prevent sharp lines in the print the cardboard, of course, should be kept moving while the exposure is being made. When the right exposure has been given a squeeze of the bulb closes the shutter. The paper is removed from the board and immersed in the developer which is ready in a large tray on a wooden bench near by. I do not wet my paper before placing it into the developer, but care must be taken to flood the developer over the paper quickly and evenly by vigorous rocking of the tray. For developing I use M. Q., making it up myself from the formula furnished by the manufacturer. I use only C. P. desiccated sodas.
1039. When the print is fully developed I take it out and slush it a couple of times through clear water in a tray, and then place it in the hypo bath. I use plain hypo bath of the strength recommended by the makers of the particular paper I am using. The prints should be vigorously moved for a minute or two after being placed in the hypo bath. I grasp the print by the two corners of one end and slush it through the fixer 6 to 10 times, the purpose of this being to wash off any traces of the developing solution which may be left on the film, such places where the developer still clings to the film turning yellow or brown, in the fixing bath, by oxidization. After sufficient fixing the prints need only be washed and hung up to dry.
1041. To obtain sepia tones I bleach the prints (after thorough fixing and washing) in a solution of Red Prus-siate of Potassium and Potassium Bromide, using a little more of the latter than of the former. The exact strength of this bleaching bath does not matter, but of course a strong bath works much more rapidly than a weaker one. Personally I prefer quite a weak solution, as its working is more easily controlled. It is not at all necessary to bleach the print entirely; stronger, more vigorous browns will result if the bleaching is only partial. In some instances very pleasing double tones may be obtained by only very slight bleaching. The exact amount of bleaching which gives the best results must be determined by experiment.
1042. After sufficiently bleached, the prints are rinsed in clear water and put into a solution of Sulphide of Soda in water, when they will at once turn darker and darker until a brown tone is reached. The strength of the Sodium Sulphide solution is immaterial, but only a very weak solution need be employed; a crystal the size of a hazel nut will tone a dozen or two large prints.
1043. The color of the finished print is not dependent to any great extent upon the method of using this process; it is really determined by the exposure and development of the paper. A print which has been over-exposed and therefore had to be given only short development will come out of the re-developing process with a sickly yellowish-brown hue. A print, on the other hand, which has had only a short exposure and prolonged development will, after re-development, have a dark-brown, chocolate or almost purplish tone.
1044. Over-exposure is particularly to be avoided where the prints are intended to be re-developed. This, I think, explains my method fully.