If the room is on the shady side of the house - or its window is not subjected to too much direct sunlight - daylight properly filtered through coloured glass or fabric may be used as the illuminant for the workroom and will be safe for handling plates, as in loading the camera or developing. In Fig. 30, attached to the cross-piece is a small wooden frame, A, suitable for the accommodation of tinted glass - ruby or canary. Into this frame - which should be rebated - is first fixed a piece of ground or opal glass to diffuse the light; this is held in position by some narrow strips of wood. These strips should be faced with felt or cloth to form cushions for the coloured glass to rest against. All that is now required is to get one or two pieces each of ruby and orange glass. The size of these glasses should allow them to fit freely into the rebate of the frame for easily changing when desired. Some means must be provided by which they will be kept in position.

This frame for the coloured glasses need not be placed as shown in the illustration. If desired, it may be made to rise from the bottom piece of the window-frame. There is a further reference to this opening under "Enlarging by Daylight," and if there is any intention to make enlargements in the manner there described, it will be advisable to arrange the fitting accordingly.

Another method for constructing the window-screen is, instead of the frame A, for the coloured glasses, a portion of the shutter-frame is covered with brown paper over canvas to make it light-proof and the other portion covered with non-actinic fabrics, as one or two thicknesses of red twill or lining.

Artificial Light

Where the strength of the daylight is at all uncertain, it will be probably best to shut it completely out and work entirely by the light from a photographic lamp. The illuminant may be either candle, oil or gas. Electricity affords probably the finest source of illumination; it is, however, not available to the vast majority of workers, but where it is, there can be nothing better than three incandescent electric lamps to give orange, red and white light respectively, arranged over the developing sink and connected with a switchboard conveniently placed.

The "Candle Lamp" is probably the most popular.

Fig. 31 illustrates what is commonly known as the "Hock bottle" lamp. A good hard wax candle should be used; it should not be too long, as there is a tendency for it to soften as the lamp gets hot; it may then bend towards the glass and cause a fracture.

Oil Lamp

A good paraffin lamp, Fig. 32, is very useful. It should be provided with an outside winder for adjusting the wick - after the lamp has been lighted - without having to lift the glass. Best quality paraffin should always be used; the wick should be carefully trimmed and any charred portions removed, this will prevent any unpleasant smell. Ruby and orange glasses are generally supplied with the lamp, and it is always advisable to have an eye-shade to screen the eyes when working; this affords great relief.

Oil Lamp /FirstStepsInPhotography 35

Fig. 31.

Gas Lamp

This class of lamp is very much like the oil lamp in appearance, the oil burner being replaced by a gas jet, which is connected by means of flexible tubing with the gasfitting in the room.

The lamp - after being lighted - should remain open for a minute or two to warm, then any moisture from condensation should be wiped off and the lamp closed.

A test for the safeness of the light from a dark-room lamp might be mentioned, as such lamps are sometimes the unlooked-for cause of trouble, as fogged plates, etc. Put a plate - across which is placed a band of black or brown paper, one inch wide - film downwards into a printing frame and expose to the closed-up lamp for a couple of minutes at a distance of about 12 inches, afterwards develop. Any indication of the place where the paper has been on the plate will show the lamp to be unsafe.

Gas Lamp /FirstStepsInPhotography 36

Fig. 32.