There are, no doubt, many amateur photographers who make only occasional trips afield or through the more traveled thoroughfares with their cameras during the winter months. Each one is generally interested in working up the negatives that he or she made during the summer or on that last vacation into souvenir post cards, albums and the like, for sending to friends. Illustrated herewith is something different from the album or photographic calendar. The letters forming part of the word POPULAR are good examples of this work.
The masks which outline the letters are cut from the black paper in which plates come packed. Their size depends on the plate used. A sharp knife, a smooth board and a straightedge are all the tools needed, says Camera Craft. If the letters are all cut the same height, they will look remarkably uniform, even if one is not skilled in the work of forming all in accordance with the rules. Be sure to have the prints a little larger than the letters to insure a sufficient margin in trimming, so as to have a white margin around the finished letters. The best method is to use a good pair of scissors or a sharp knife.
Many combinations can be made of these letter pictures to spell out the recipient's name or the season's greeting. During the holidays the letters may be made from winter scenes to spell "A Merry Christmas" or "A Happy New Year." An Easter greeting may have more spring-like subjects and a birthday remembrance a fitting month. The prints are no more difficult to make than the ordinary kind. In cutting out an 0, for example, do not forget to cut out a piece to correspond to the center. This piece can be placed on the printing paper after the outline mask has been laid down, using care to get it in the right position, and closing the frame carefully so that the small piece will not be disturbed. The letters should be of the kind to give as large an area of surface to have as much of the picture show as possible. What the printer calls black face letters are the most suitable.
Letters Made from photographs
By cutting the letters out of black paper in a solid form, and using these as a mask for a second printing after printing the full size of the negatives, these letter pictures can be made with a black border. So made, they can be trimmed to a uniform black line all around; and, mounted on a white card and photographed down to post card size, the greeting so spelled out makes a most unique souvenir. Another application of the letters in copying is to paste on a white card as before, trim the card even with the bottoms of the letters, stand the strip of card on a mirror laid flat on a table, and then photograph both the letters and their reflections so as to nicely fill a post card. Still another suggestion is to cut out the letters, after, pasting the prints on some thin card, and then arrange in the desired order to spell out the name or greeting, but with flowers interspersed and forming a background, photographing down to the desired size. A third means of securing a novel effect by photographing down an arrangement of the letters is to have them cut out in stiff form as in the last method; mount them on short pieces of corks, in turn fastened to a white card forming the background. So arranged, the letters will stand out from the card about 1/2 in. If they are now placed in a light falling from the side and slightly in front, each letter will cast a shadow upon the background, and in the finished print the letters will look as if suspended in the air in front of the surface of the card.