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.
217. The first consideration, before placing the tissue on the negative to print, is to sort the negatives. In the previous chapter you were instructed to use a weak bichromate bath for sensitizing tissue to be used on weak negatives, a strong bath for hard negatives, and a medium-strength bath for medium strength negatives. Therefore, it is advisable to sort the negatives before printing from them. Your weak, soft and flat negatives place by themselves, and use tissues sensitized in a weak bath for printing from them.
218. Negatives of medium strength, or negatives with a good, strong body, will make good prints on tissue sensitized with almost any strength bath. Extremely hard, negatives should be printed on tissue sensitized in a very strong bath. To avoid different strength baths in sensitizing the tissue, you may reduce very hard negatives before printing from them, and in case of weak negatives intensify them. This will make your negatives more uniform-in fact, you should strive to make all your negatives of a uniform strength-and a uniform sensitizing bath can then be used for all.
219. Before placing the negative in the printing-frame, it is necessary to prepare the safe edge. If this be neglected it will often happen that, on developing, the prints will not adhere to the transfer or support. Insoluble gelatin will not adhere well to the temporary support or single transfer support, therefore, if the edges are masked so that they will not be exposed to the light, they will adhere more readily to the support than the exposed parts. You are, therefore, sure to have an even transfer all around the edge, and this edge will hold the balance of the tissue in place.
220. This mask should be placed on the film side. While it can be placed on the glass side, and will give more softness and a slight blending of the outline in the printing, yet when mounting on celluloid or porcelain, or even etching paper, it is best to put the mask on this side. When using heavy, coarse paper for support, then it is alright to place the mask on the glass side.
Printing The Tissue. Care must be taken that the tissue used is large enough to more than cover the opening in the mask. The paper is placed in the printing-frame in the usual manner. You must select such frames, however, as have good, strong springs. First dusting the negatives and then the tissue with a fine camel's-hair brush, place the tissue, face down, on the negative, and cover it with several thicknesses of good, dry blotting paper. Replace the back of frame and fasten the spring. This blotting-paper is to secure perfect contact between the tissue and the negative. The tissue is heavy, and when drying after sensitizing is liable to buckle in places. There will be a blur in the image wherever perfect contact is not secured.
222. Having judged your negatives according to the number on the actinometer, and having recorded this number upon the negative, as described in Paragraphs 145-153, you can now place this frame in the light to print, at the same time placing the actinometer in the same light. By recording the actinometer number on the plate you will know exactly what depth to print to each time you print from this negative. By also placing the actinometer number on a white sticker and pasting the sticker on the face of the printing-frame, you can print from several negatives at one time, using but one actinometer; withdrawing all frames of the same number at one time and continuing others of a higher number until the actinometer registers that number, being guided entirely by the actionmeter number on the printing-frame.
THE LITTLE AEOLUS. Study No. 5-See Page 356. Cora Stanwood Cobb.
223. There are many ways of favoring imperfect negatives in the printing. For instance, by putting the printing-frames containing thin negatives in a more subdued light you will secure more crisp prints, and placing the intense negatives in a stronger light they will not only print faster, but give you better results. Never print carbons, however, in bright sunlight; a diffused light is preferable.
224. No matter how excellent or perfect a negative may seem to be, it will always admit of some improvement being made on some part or other by suitable methods. A great many failures to obtain satisfactory results from apparently good negatives can be charged to carelessness and oversight on the part of the printer in the "make ready," or the preliminary preparations made upon the negative previous to exposing the tissue to light. It is well to take plenty of time preparing the negative before printing from it. You will be amply rewarded for the time spent by softness and harmonious effects.