With the articles that I have mentioned, first-class touching can be done by care and patient practice. One great advantage of the water-color over the pencil is the facility with which the work can be undone if not satisfactory in the first, second, or even the tenth effort. In some cases the pencil is good, especially if there is very little to be done. Even when using the pencil, do not use any modern means recommended to roughen up the surface of it what is termed tooth. All this can be effectually overcome by first whittling the pencil down to a long slender point, and finishing by means of sand-paper. Whenever the pencil fails to deposit on the negative as required, pass it over the sand-paper a time or two, and it goes off all right again. Rather a hard pencil does better in my hands than a soft one. This, however, depends somewhat upon use. The practice, however, of disturbing the varnish by the use of pumice - stone, fish-bone, emery, etc., to secure tooth, is too dangerous to be successful. I would therefore advise you not to practise it. When the skin blotches are too deep to remove with the pencil, then the neutral tint and brush come in first - rate. - I B. Webster.
200. As the retoucher progresses, if he will discover many methods of doing this .delicate work which will serve him to good purpose. Inspiration comes in here, too, and the " learning how " will never end because no two negatives requires the same treatment
Study your negative well before you begin. Give it credit for all the good there is in it. and then be careful you don't rob it in the least.
In my practice I have found the patent pencil with movable leads, made by Faber, the best for retouching, as the lead is of very fine quality and perfectly free from grit; they are also much more convenient than the ordinary lead-pencil, as they do not require to be sharpened. I have tried metallic and most every other kind of pencil, but find these the best A pretty hard lead is best for fine work on small heads, but for a large head, where the strokes are to be bold, a softer lead is required. As a general thing, it is not necessary to roughen the surface of a negative, as the varnish will have sufficient tooth to take the pencil; but when the surface is too smooth, or it is necessary to put a great deal of heavy retouching upon a negative, pulverized pumice will be found to be very useful; just dip the finger into the pumice, knock the loose powder back into the box, and gently rub the finger over the part of the negative required to be roughened; this will be all that is necessary in moat cases. Booh things as grit-varnish, etc., are not only of no service, but decidedly detrimental, making too rough a surface entirely. The retouching-frames sold by the stock - dealers are very useful, and are all that is required; but I prefer to substitute for the mirror a piece of white cardboard, and to remove the ground - glass from the frame, which gives a soft, agreeable light that does not in the least dazzle the eyes. If you have a ground-glass window to work by, the mirror will do. It is much better to work in a darkened room where there is no other light than that which comes through the negative from the reflector. As far as any definite instructions can be given, the rest depends upon skill and artistic taste. - N. H. Bosey.
200. It was also in Scotland that I saw a very good dodge for saving time in retouching. On the film side of the negative was strained a piece of ordinary tracing-paper; the paper was slightly dampened, and the edges being gummed, it was laid on the face of the negative and let dry; when dry it was strained quite tight, and so interposed a thickness of tracing-paper between the sensitive paper and the negative, which considerably softened freckles and Other accidental markings, and gave a good surface for working in the high - lights etc. I have tried this dodge for enlarged negatives, and can highly recommend it. - George. Croughton.
A friend comnunicated to me a simple and very good way of sharpening the lead-pencil
ordinary glance at the subject, are scarcely perceptible or wholly unnoticed. Blemishes, also, may occur in other parts of the negative which call retouching into requisition. - J. W. Morukneikr.
201. The photographer who has not enough retouching of negatives to do to employ a retoucher steadily, will find a retouching-machine to help him over the most time-taking portions of the work, the fine finishing only, requiring the labor of his hands. There are various kinds of those advertised by the dealers. They are useful and helpful.
202. Books and chapters have been written upon this subject, and the one who desires to become an accomplished retoucher, or doctor of negused in retouching; and I find that a fine needle - point can be made by it in a moment. Take a small piece of ground-glass and moisten a place sufficiently large, and grind the lead on it by rubbing lightly endwise (not sidewise, as that would be likely to break it), while turning the pencil so as to grind the sides equally. - Frank A. Morrell.
Here is the method I have adopted: Take a two-ounce glass measure, fill it with old bath solution (the strength is a matter of no moment); put in next a little pyrogallic acid - the exact amount, so that you put in enough, does not matter; the result is the immediate precipitation of silver. In a few minutes stir the whole well up, and throw it upon a filter; when the liquor has run through, fill up the filter again with water; repeat this two or three times, then set the filter aside. In a day or so, when dry, carefully remove the powder from the filter by some little scraping instrument. Put it away for future use. A small portion of this is prepared for use at a time by being ground on the palette with a little gum - water; the less the better. I work the pigment with a knife, giving a gentle circular motion, and keeping it up till the whole dries; the gradual thickening of the gum solution as the water evaporates seems to assist in breaking up the particles to an extreme state of fineness. This pigment can be used with water in the usual way; but I think care should be taken not to suck the brush, as a daily dose (people who retouch negatives at all generally do so every day, I suppose) of silver in a state of fine powder might lead to serious consequences. - Stellar Polaris.