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.
Printing From Soft Or Quick Printing Negatives. A soft, thin negative, owing to its printing so quickly, prints on the surface only, unless it be exposed and printed in the shade instead of bright sunlight. In fact, a thin negative should always be printed in the shade for the best results. Even then the highlights must be carried farther (printed deeper) than with a slow printing negative. In other words, with a weak negative it is advisable to carry the glossy print in the printing two shades darker than you wished the finished print. The printing is thus carried more deeply into the emulsion. When the prints are thoroughly washed the excess printing is well washed out, leaving the solid image, which is well printed into the emulsion; while if the print had only been printed on the surface, it would have lost its strength in the washing, resulting in a weak print. Therefore, remember that the slower you print from such a plate the deeper it will penetrate the emulsion. By slow printing we mean that you should print in the shade, or, if you must print in the sun, cover your negative by attaching two thicknesses of very fine tissue paper over the face of the printing frame, thereby filtering the light. Ordinary negatives of medium strength can be printed in bright sunlight with good results, but a slight diffusion of strong light will invariably give stronger and better prints.
Examining The Prints During Printing. Great care must be exercised in examining prints while printing. First, see that your hands are perfectly dry. When bending back the paper to examine the print, be careful that you do not bend it too abruptly or too far back, as such action is liable to cause cracks or breaks in the surface. (See Illustration No. 1, on how to grasp the paper in examining the print.) Also be careful that you do not hold the paper in too strong a light. While printing-out paper is not extremely sensitive, it is sensitive enough to become tinted even in subdued light if the light strikes it for any great length of time. This tinting is similar to fog and will destroy delicate highlights. If you find, while printing, that there are specks of dust on the negative, do not try to blow them away but remove them with a camel's hair brush. (See Illustration No. 2.) When blowing on them you are apt to carry saliva onto the plate, and the least drop of saliva would cause the paper to stick to the negative, thereby producing a spot which is almost impossible to remove, and which would produce white spots on all subsequent prints.
Prints Sticking To Plate. If the paper should happen to stick to the plate, at once remove the print and place the negative in the regular negative hypo bath, and allow it to remain until the film becomes soft enough so that you can remove the paper which sticks to the negative. After the paper is removed, again place the negative in the hypo for at least twenty minutes, after which wash and dry. The hypo will remove the silver that was in the paper, unless the print was allowed to dry on the negative. Even then the stain frequently may be removed and the spot not show when printing. Do not examine prints oftener than is absolutely necessary. With a little practice you will soon be able to judge the total time required for a print to be printed to the proper depth and you will not need to examine it so often. Always carefully clean the back of your negative. Particles of dirt or stain will cause spots on the print.
45. When you remove your prints from the printing frame place them at once in a light-tight box, and only remove them from this box when you are ready to tone. Keep the fingers off the surface of the prints, as acid coming from the moisture in the hands, even when apparently dry, will penetrate the paper and thus cause red spots. Where one's hands freely perspire it is advisable to bathe them in a weak solution of bicarbonate of soda and dry them thoroughly.
Illustration No. 1 Examining Prints See Paragraph No. 43.
Illustration No. 2 Removing Dust from Negative while Printing See Paragraph No. 43
See Paragraph No. 48
WHERE THE BROOK WINDS THROUGH THE MEADOW Study No. 4 By Wm. T. Knox.