MR. C. F. STUART'S METHODS.
Amongst the most notable colour subjects that have recently been produced by the Bromoil process a leading place must be given to the work of Mr. C. F. Stuart, of Liverpool. Mr. Stuart's work has been always noteworthy for the feeling which characterizes it, and his new essay into the region of colour will maintain and enhance his reputation. Needless to say, such work does not escape adverse criticism, but such criticism is due to the different points of out-look from which the artist and the critics survey the subject.
The reason Mr. Stuart's work has found very general acceptance amongst those who have examined it is the fact that he pays particular attention to tone values, and his colour treatment is subservient to this very important factor.
So that we might batter inform our readers as to the details of the methods pursued by Mr. Stuart in obtaining his very delicate results, we journeyed specially to Liverpool to hear his lecture before the Liverpool Photographic Association, one of the oldest, largest and most important associations in the country.
Mr. Stuart began by describing the subjects that were best for multi-colour Bromoil transfer, and suggested such as consisted of broad masses of half-tone and high-light, but did not consider that subjects where there were larger masses of heavy shadow were suitable. The negative should be one similar to that used for making the best Bromoil prints, namely, clean and thin, and not strongly developed in any part, in fact, what might be termed a " Bromide " and not a " Platinotype " negative. From this negative a Bromide enlargement was made, and, naturally, the process being a transfer one, it was necessary to reverse the negative in the enlarging lantern, so that the glass side instead of the film side faced in the direction of the Bromide paper. This resulted in a reversed Bromide enlargement such as was necessary for the purpose.
The Suitable Negative.
While he had no doubt that many Bromide papers could be used for the process, he had in his own work certainly found the Illingworth Bromoil paper exceedingly suitable and very easy in all its manipulations. Another paper which had given him satisfaction was the Wellington Thick Smooth Bromide. In any case a paper with some stability about it was desirable. The development of the print, however, was of the utmost importance, and for some reason or another he had found that a Bromide print that had taken a long time to develop was infinitely better than one developed in the normal fashion. Naturally such a print was not pleasing to look at in itself. It was of a greenish hue and had no very strong contrasts. The developer suggested was an Amidol developer diluted to one-fifth or one-sixth its usual strength. The following formula in his hands was a good one : The Bromide Print.
Diamadophenol (or Amidol)..........
Anhydrous-sulphite of Soda..........
Bromide of Potassium ..............
One part of this solution was used to each four or five parts of water. The exposure of the Bromide paper was on the full side, and development frequently took up to twenty minutes. The great point was, of course, to develop the Bromide paper as far as ever it would go. After development the print was rinsed and fixed in a pure hypo bath, 2 oz. of hypo to 1 pint of water. The print was then washed and dried, and he certainly thought that it was a great advantage to dry at this point in order to toughen the gelatine. His next procedure was to trim the print to the exact dimensions required in the finished picture, and he pointed out that he inked right up to the edge of the print and did not leave any margin. The print was now bleached in any of the well-known bleaching solutions, rinsed for a few moments in water at a temperature of 70 decrees, till all the colour of the bleaching solution had disappeared from the high-lights, hardened by immersion in 10 per cent, solution of formalin for three minutes, then washed again, after which it was fixed in a weak solution of hypo, only 5 per cent. (5 oz. hypo, water to 100 ozs.). The object of this very weak hypo was to fix and clear the bleached print, of course,
Bleaching and Hardening the Print.
keeping the various solutions about the same temperature, namely, 70 degrees. The effect of the hypo would be quickly seen upon the enlargement, and it would remove most of the remaining traces of Bichromate from the image. When this had been effected, the print was again washed and dried, and was then ready at any future time for the final processes.