299. After all, the operator and the printer are at the mercy of the mounter and the finisher, unless that person also puts heart in the work, and labors with the rest to produce beautifully finished results. Neat and good cards should be used; the trimming and cutting should be thoughtfully done, so that the figure will appear in proper position upon the card - neither too high, too low, too far back or too far forward or crooked; the prints should be placed so that the margin at top and sides of the card are equal, and smoothly and thoroughly pasted all over. Starch
299. A good photograph badly mounted is like a jewel ill-set, and a great part of its beauty is lost. No artist should be indifferent to the manner and style in which his work is shown to the public. Nothing fanciful should be allowed in the mounting of a carte - de-visite. The card should be plain, either white, or, what is perhaps better, a very light buff or cream color; the margin should not be wider than one-sixteenth of an inch, with a quarter or five-sixteenths of an inch at the bottom, upon which it is allowable for the photographer to print his name, very faintly, in black or brown ink; but to print the name large, or in red, staring letters, not only shows bad taste, but detracts from the effect of the picture. Printed lines round the edge of the card are wrong, so are round corners, but when the lines and round corners are combined, as I have seen them in some American cartes, they appear to have entered into a conspiracy to spoil the picture, and generally succeed, however good it may be. I hold it to be as necessary to have the photographer's name on the back of the card - always supposing the picture is not a copy - as it is to have a picture on the front; but the name must not be set forth in a glaring design, full of curly-cues and flourishes, but in a modest and quiet fashion; not as though you were ashamed of it, but without any advertising dash. A thin card is better than a thick one; it feels better if well rolled, and does not fill up the book so much as a thick one would. To cabinet pictures the same general rules will apply, except that the margins should be proportionately wider. - H. P. Robinson.
The material I am about to describe for paste, has advantages which no others possess. Take
Best Bermuda Arrow - root,..................
1 3/4 ounce
Sheet Gelatin, or best Russian Glue,..................
Put the arrow-root into a small pan, add one ounce of water, and mix it thoroughly up with a spoon, or the ordinary mounting-brush, until it is like a thick cream, then add fourteen ounces of water and the gelatin broken into small fragments. Boil for four or five minutes, set it aside until partially cold, then add one ounce of methylated spirit and six drops of (234) paste is the cleanest and the best. It is simply good laundry starch, mixed with clean water,and used cold. Pour cold water upon the starch to barely moisten it. Then stir in boiling water until the proper consistency.
is reached. Strain, if not free from lumps. The prints are best mounted damp,being laid in a pile backs up, and putted one after the others as wanted.
800. After mounting, the prints are to be " spotted," all light spots removed by the net of a eamel's - hair pencil tipped with Indian - ink or color. This should be carefully and neatly done, and the work hidden as much as possible. The pictures should then be rolled in a press and polished with encaustic paste.
pure carbolic acid. Be very particular in adding the spirit in a gentle stream, stirring rapidly all the time. You have now fifteen ounces of the best mounting material you have ever used. Keep it in a corked stock bottle, and take out as much as may be required for the time; work it up nicely with the brush, and you will have a material as smooth as cream, without lumps or grit, and which will not decompose. - J. G. Tunny.
After many failures in mounting prints on toned card-board, the following means of over-coming the greasiness of the surface was discovered. It is done by adding to every hundred grammes of paste five grammes of ammonia; this hurts neither the paste nor the pictures. The grease of the mount is slightly dissolved, and the picture adheres closely to the board. The volatile alkali evaporates very quickly. The ammonia used for this purpose must be perfectly pure, and free from any trace of sulphuretted hydrogen. - John L. Gihon.
800. For "touching out" plain photographic work, I advise you to have by your side a palette, upon which are ground moderate portions of a good black Indian - ink, warm sepia, and scarlet lake. With combinations of these you can readily imitate the photography upon which you are working, whether it be cold or warm in tone. Of course, it is necessary to apply these tints with a brush, and if you use plain water as a dilutant, you will leave a dead surface that betrays your trail. Every one will exclaim: Why not then use gum water? That will leave a gloss. Perfectly right but it leaves too much gloss. In addition, I don't believe that the half of you know how to make gum water. Accept my formula, and adopt it or not, as you see fit.
Picked Gum Arabic,..................
Water in sufficient quantity, say, from six to eight ounces.
Don't be frightened at the mention of the acid, and at the idea of putting a modicum of it upon the surface of your photograph. Used in this way, it will not, I assure you, prove destructive in the slightest degree. The gum water, however, I do not use for the indicated purpose. There is a better vehicle - the much-abused, always useful, albumen.
The value of an encaustic paste in giving depth, richness, and transparency to the shadows of a photograph, and in bringing out the delicate gradations in the whites, is now so well known that it needs scarcely to be stated; and it is tolerably clear, also, that it adds to the
301. Or some may prefer a higher polish, when the final operation is to pass our beautiful new pictures through the now popular heated burnisher, which imparts to them a high degree of polish and improves their tone. If this latter is used, the prints must first be lubricated with a mixture of white Castile soap and alcohol, or a similar "lubricator." After either treatment, the prints are ready for the acceptance of your permanency of the prints. My prints owe much of richness and depth to treatment with an excellent preparation of this kind, the formula of which stands as follows: