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.
Masking The Negative. The simplest way to mask a negative is to paste one thickness of tissue paper over the printing frame containing the negative. In order to hold the negatives in the frame while blocking on the tissue paper, provide two pieces of soft wood, one-half inch wide, and a trifle thicker than the inside of the printing frame. Place the negative in the frame; lay one strip on edge at each end, and around the top and bottom of the frame place a strong rubber band. This band around the frame and wooden strips will hold the negative from falling out of the frame, and gives you the use of both hands for masking or blocking out. Next place the frame before a window, with the tissue side facing you, resting the frame on the edge of the window sill or a small table, and looking through the tissue and negative you can clearly see the outline of the parts you want to block out. With a tuft of cotton dipped in dry yellow ochre rub on the tissue paper over the sky portion until you have blocked all parts you do not want printed. If towers or large trees project above the horizon line rub the ochre around them. It is not at all necessary to work in around small limbs or branches of the trees, as they will print quite light in any case.
1152. Having completely blocked out the sky on the tissue of the printing frame, remove the negative and place it in another frame, and tissue the second frame as the first. This done, proceed to block out the foreground, or those portions which you do not want to show in the second printing. Apply the ochre quite freely, so as to make this portion almost non-actinic. The tissue paper being placed about one-quarter inch from the negative, the lines will not be sharp and the masking will be nicely blended. With the masking completed again return the negative to the first printing frame, place a sheet of printing-out paper on the negative and make your print of the foreground. If printing-out paper is used, print as deep as required for the finished print, then remove it from the frame. The result up to this stage is an unfinished print, in which the sky is absolutely white. Next place your cloud negative into frame No. 2, and place the print on the cloud negative, adjusting it so that the masking on the tissue paper registers perfectly; then carefully clamp on the back and put the frame out to printing. With a little care you will produce a perfect union. Print your clouds to the desired depth necessary to match the landscape. After a little practice it will soon become an easy matter to produce perfect results.
Making Cloud Negatives. For the best results the cloud negative should be made from the same point and at about the same time that the landscape negative was made. It is not always possible to do this, however, and a few different cloud negatives should be made at a time when the opportunity affords itself. It is always advisable to make cloud negatives on a larger plate than other negatives. In this way you are able to use different portions of a cloud negative, and by proper manipulation some superb effects may be obtained. Cloud negatives should not be developed as far as other negatives; in fact, they should be developed thin, but snappy, thus permitting quick printing. The exposure necessary for making cloud negatives is usually about one-sixth or one-tenth of that of ordinary landscapes.
1154. In using cloud negatives for printing-in, care must be exercised in the choice of proper clouds for the view in which it is intended to use them. If, for instance, a landscape having clouds is to be used, and it is lit more from the left, the printed-in clouds should not be lit from the right, or from any other direction. Nor should clouds, taken close, be printed-in near the horizon. Cloud forms should be selected with reference to their fitness to the rest of the picture.
1155. It is also wrong to print sharply focused clouds into a landscape taken on a gray day, with a hazy mist. In such a case invert the cloud negative and print from the glass side. In fact, quite frequently the picture is improved even where the landscape is focused sharply to have the clouds slightly out of focus. In order to have a true rep-
WOODLAND STREAM Study No. 19 By Wm. T. Knox.
Illustration No. 12.
Printing in Clouds in Landscapes
See Paragraph No. 1156 resentation of the scene the clouds must either appear to have been taken at the same time, or at least, should be in keeping with the general feeling expressed in the picture.
1156. By a little judicious manipulation cloud negatives lit from the left can be employed on landscapes lighted from the right, by simply inverting the negative. Where a larger printing frame than the size of the negative or landscape is employed, especially where the cloud negative is a size larger than the landscape, any portion of the clouds desired may be used to carry out the effect desired in the picture. It is safer to print clouds a trifle lighter than the landscape, for in doing so the masking is less likely to show and really better atmosphere can be produced. In illustration No. 12 we present a combination picture. Fig. No. 1 is a print of the foreground. Fig. No. 2 is a print of the cloud negative. Fig. No. 3 presents the scene with the clouds printed in.