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.
771. The reader having followed the preceding instruction on the general manipulation of Velox paper should have a good knowledge of the general manipulation of gaslight papers. However there are numerous little dodges in printing and developing not covered in the preceding instruction, which will aid the photographer in producing most artistic effects with these papers.
772. There are many advantages to be gained by slight manipulation and dodging in the printing, such as holding back portions which print too black, vignetting undesirable parts of a negative, general blending, etc., also printing-in borders.
773. There are times when it becomes necessary to print from negatives which apparently will not give satisfactory results - negatives which if used for printing-out papers would doubtless be failures. Such negatives however, may be made to yield splendid prints on Velox, or other developing-out papers, by proper manipulation.
774. As example No. 1, we will consider a contrasty negative which was probably under-timed or harshly lighted; the highlights print absolutely white, the shadows black, with no detail, and containing no half-tones whatever. Example No. 2, a thin weak negative, muddy, lifeless, flat; highlights thin, filled with detail; a negative of insufficient strength. Prints from such a negative, ordinarily manipulated, would show gray highlights, while shadows would be thin and mealy. No. 3 is a negative very dense all over, which, with the printing-out paper, could scarcely be made to print satisfactorily. In addition to printing extremely slow with printing-out paper, No. 3 would show absolutely no contrast nor atmosphere.
775. Then there is another class of negatives - those made under most difficult conditions. For instance: Where the circumstances require rapid exposure, necessitating the under-timing of some portions of the plate, such portions will need nursing in the printing, to retain any detail whatever in the shadows.
776. Velox and gaslight papers, properly manipulated, lend themselves better to these requirements than printing-out papers, enabling all that is in the negative to be retained by proper manipulation in the exposure and development.
777. While dodging in the printing, vignetting, blending and masking, are essential to good results, proper developing under such conditions has much to do with the quality of the finished picture. It is the object of this instruction to describe various methods of dodging, printing, and special developing.
Printing Dodges. Let us consider example No. 1: A contrasty negative without half-tones. This negative, as before stated, if printed straight would produce prints with black shadows and white highlights. Now, it behooves us to equalize the tone in order to give uniform prints. This can be done in one of two ways:
779. By tissue papering the printing frame and applying dry yellow ochre to the tissue paper, over the shadow portions of the negative, thus holding them back while the highlights are printing. Or, the glass side of the negative may be ground-glassed and the same application of yellow ochre applied. The former is the more simple, requiring less time. By this method small parts may be held back with the ochre applied to the tissue paper. A negative like this can then be printed evenly by any light; but under circumstances where dodging is employed, you must print further from the light; thus giving more even diffusion and avoiding lines or marks caused by the ochre applied to the tissue paper.
780. Negative No. 2 is a thin, weak negative, having plenty of detail, yet when printed in the ordinary way the highlights are gray instead of mellow and white. Such a negative requires dodging in the printing, as well as in the developing. In the printing you require some method of retarding the action of the light to print deep and slow, because there are no strong highlights, nor dense shadows, but a flat mealy negative. Therefore, expose the negative by diffused light, covering the printing frame with tissue paper. The catch-lights, or the strongest point of light, should be slightly outlined with a little Prussian blue, applied to the tissue paper. This will give some contrast in the printing. When developing such prints the developer must be diluted, and sufficient bromide used to restrain the print from developing too rapidly.
781. Of course, in the first place, contrasty paper should be selected to print on. Under such circumstances there are three points to be considered: First, the selection of paper suitable to such a plate; second, the necessary dodging in the printing to assist in producing contrast and snap to the highlights; third, the final manipulation to further assist in carrying out the operations necessary to produce the required snap.
782. In No. 3 we have an extremely slow printing negative, hard and contrasty. Such a negative should not be printed from in that condition, but should be reduced with red prussiate of potash reducer, as the negative can then be reduced and made to yield good prints with ordinary manipulation. See instructions on " Reducing," Volume II. If prints are desired from such negatives, without reducing them, the important consideration will lie in the selection of the grade of paper suitable for hard negatives, which should be the " Special" papers. Time them fully and develop slowly.