This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
514. Of the more numerous corrections made to the eye, we find none so frequent as the straightening of crossed eyes. Much can be done, however, in the making of the negative to assist the retoucher and save a considerable amount of work if a little care be taken under the skylight. The secret of photographing cross-eyed people lies in getting the straight eye perfectly natural, paying no attention whatever to the other one. Where both eyes are crossed, turned in, or out, as the case may be, then we must endeavor to get the best position possible of one of them before making the exposure. The most difficult eyes to straighten when making the negative are those where one eye turns in and the other out, for in such cases it is really difficult to obtain a normal condition of either eye. All one can hope to do is to make the exposure when either eye is at its best and do all the correcting on the negative afterward.
515. The method of procedure for straightening the eyes by retouching and etching is exactly the same as for opening the eyes. If one eye is normal and the other one needs straightening, you proceed first to secure an outline or drawing of the straight eye on tissue paper and place it on the glass side of the defective eye. Of course the drawing must be inverted and attached to the glass side with the pencil drawing side next to the glass. In Illustration No. 34 we present a case of crossed eyes. Fig. 1 of this illustration shows exactly the appearance of the eyes before altering.
Fig. 2 shows the first stage of the work done, and Fig. 3 presents the eyes both balanced, which appear very-natural.
516. In beginning the work we first obtain, as said above, a penciled outline of the normal eye on a piece of transparent tissue-paper, working from the glass side of the plate. With this obtained, we invert the outline and place it over the opening of the defective eye, and with a little paste attach it fast. Then, turning the negative over, with film side front, we trace the outline of the iris of the eye with the point of the etching knife. This completes the first stage, as will be seen in Fig. 2.
517. For the next and final stage we first apply the reducing paste to the white of the eye. This not only reduces the strong whites, but also blends the outlining done with the etcher, after which we pencil the black objectionable portions of the original iris and pupil, building up the white of the eye in the left-hand corner. As a considerable amount of work is required to eliminate the heavy black shadows, a soft BB lead is employed. With these obliterated we next proceed to work in the iris of the eye. This is done with the curved blade of the etcher, shaving the entire opening in the outline of the iris except a small speck to be left to supply the catch-light. With the iris reduced to the proper stage and the catch-light rightly located, we then proceed to etch the pupil of the eye, which, in this case (the eyes being very black) should only be carried one shade deeper than the iris. With this done, the eye is completed as will be seen in Fig. 3.
Eyes Blurred - Caused By Movement. When the eyes are only slightly blurred, as for instance, by movement during the exposure, causing a sort of veil over them, and there yet remains a suggestion of an outline, you will not need to make an outline of the eye on tissue-paper. Follow the suggestion of outline already in the film, first etching in the pupil and iris, and then penciling the whites of the eye and blending them with the shadows. If the eyelashes show too strongly below the
eyeball they should be toned down with a soft BB lead. If careful thought is given to defects of this kind, and if you proceed to work in the manner just described, you will experience no difficulty in correcting any errors and in perfecting negatives which would otherwise be undesirable.
519. It is advisable always to make proof-prints from a negative before attempting to do any work on it at all, and proof-prints should also be made at different intervals showing the progress made. These will also serve well as a guide for you to judge the work being done. It is also advisable to file all proofs which you make and place any necessary data on the back of each for future reference.