This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1913" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1913.
At this particular season of the year, watch the temperature of your developer, especially your plate developer. Of course temperatures should be correct at all times, but cold weather slips up on you almost before you know it, and if there doesn't happen to be a thermometer in your dark room, or if there is and you don't use it, there is sure to be trouble. At the beginning of every winter, manufacturers and demonstrators alike begin to hear complaints regarding the speed of plates. The plates, however, have just as much speed as they have ever had - the emulsions have not been slowed down at all, but the light has gradually grown weaker and as the water from the tap is much colder, the developer works with less energy, so the plates have the effect of being under-timed, even though correctly exposed.
Put a thermometer in your developer, use a little warm water to take off the chill and bring the temperature up to where it should be, and you will find that the plates are all right - have just as much speed as they ever had. They will not have that weak, insipid, under-timed appearance that is always the result when your developer is too cold. You will find that the thermometer has put you on the right track again.
Plates are more sensitive to changes in temperature of solutions than are papers, but it is equally important that the paper developer should be right if the best results are to be secured.
With a paper developer that is too cold, the printer will naturally fall into the habit of giving longerexposure to bring the print up more quickly in the developer. The results are never satisfactory and the print quality begins to fall off. Not only does print quality suffer, but there is an unnecessary waste because of the uncertainty of exposures. Put a thermometer in the developer, keep it there and see that the solution is kept at a uniform ternperature. It is the only sure way to good results. You may be a good guesser, but it costs much less to be certain.
Talk to the average photographer and he'll tell you that he quite realizes that there are a good many dollars he could pick up by the sale of enlargements to customers for his regular work. When you pin him down to find out the reason why he never took advantage of the opportunity, more often than not his answer will be that he has so frequently put off taking up this end that he is further away than ever from getting started.
The bugbear about this enlarging business seems to be, in most cases, an exaggerated idea of the equipment that is required, and many are deterred by a false notion that the initial outlay would be prohibitive.
You know what a suitable camera and lens will cost; perhaps you are already well provided for in this respect.
There's a little booklet, "Enlarging for the Professional," which we offer free of charge, which will show you the most economical way to lay out your equipment.
So far, so good. "How about light?" is the next. Consult your local lighting company; take them into your confidence, for they know more about the matter of lighting than you do. As a prospective customer, they'll be glad to help you. Follow their advice and have the installation made by competent workmen. Then you'll be sure of a good equipment.
Right now is the time for you to decide whether or not you'll take up this field of work, for a little later you'll be far too busy in the rush of work for the holiday season. Have your enlarging plant all ready to make enlargements from the negatives you make for the holiday trade and you'll be able, more likely than not, to pay for the whole outfit from the extra business done at this season.
A word as to paper. No medium has yet been found that equals Artura Carbon Black for enlarging. It has speed, but not too much of it for enlarging. Particularly fine effects are produced on Carbon Black, Rough Matte and Buff, both of which are double weight papers.