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.
Judging Plates To Be Reduced. By exercising judgment when to apply and use the reducer, you should never have a dense or slow printing negative. Frequently the true value of a negative is lost by slight over-development, and by training the eye to see this, and reducing the negative, it would be restored. This training is accomplished by close observation only, and by making mental notes. Try to impress on your memory the appearance of the plate before and after reducing, and in a very short time you will be able to judge just how far a plate should be reduced. You would then be able to judge correctly as to the printing quality, and development. If in doubt as to whether a plate would be improved by further reducing, allow it to dry, and make a proof print from it. If this proof prints slowly, and with too much harshness and contrast, again immerse the plate in the re-
Ill ducer, and carry it to the proper stage. A plate that has once been reduced, and dried, will not reduce so rapidly the second time, even in a fresh reducing bath, and unless the solution is agitated carefully one may find the reducer to act in streaks. Therefore, avoid too strong a reducing for second immersion, and don't be annoyed if the reduction acts slowly, as the plate will be better for it.