Perhaps the biggest bugbear, and the one which, to the average photographer, causes the most dread - especially during the Holiday Season, is retouching

Since the old printing out process has been superceded by the Artura method of printing, enabling the photographer to snap his fingers at the cloudy weather and finish his orders up to the very last hour before Christmas, the average studio could undertake nearly twice as many orders if only they could be assured they would not be handicapped by their inability to get their negatives retouched.

The object of this article is to offer a practical aid to the partial solution of this problem, not by advising against retouching, but to set forth in a few words the many advantages of Eastman Portrait Film in this connection.

Eastman Portrait Film negatives require less than one-half the work in retouching necessary with glass plates, as prints made from unretouched negatives of the same identical subject photographed on film and glass plates and carefully compared will quickly prove, even to the most prejudiced.

This is easily explained, because the Portrait Film gives a much more correct rendering of skin texture and flesh values than does the glass plate. The absence of halation gives each little highlight its true relative value, while the halftones and shadows are pure and clean and not marred or muddied by the spreading of the light caused by halation.

This being true, practically all that remains for the retoucher to do is to correct any little defects or to make some slight changes or improvements in form or features. This enables the retoucher to accomplish fully twice as much work as with glass plate negatives.

When first undertaking to retouch Portrait Film negatives, some retouchers object to the resilience of the film. This can of course be quite easily overcome by placing the film negative flatly against the glass in the retouching desk, but with a little practice what at first seems to be an objection is found to be one of the greatest aids to speed and quality of work.

To use a commonplace illustration, it is like walking on rubber heels compared to the hard leather, or to riding on pneumatic tubes compared to the steel tire of the olden days.

This resilience causes the pencil to begin with a light stroke and end with a blended mark which does not require several more strokes to smooth it down. Retouching film negatives for a while and then returning to glass plates is a good deal like riding in a Pullman palace car on a smooth road bed and then suddenly changing to a lumber wagon on a country road.

Then, too, there is the wonderful advantage of being able to retouch on both sides of the negative. For instance, nearly all first class studios "proof retouch" their negatives. Thisproof retouching is usually quickly done, and then when the retoucher receives the negative to be finished the dope is found to have become hard and slick and does not take the pencil satisfactorily. This necessitates redop-ing, which causes a waste of all the time and work previously done.

Now by doing the proof retouching on the reverse side of the film, and the balance of the work on the image side, it is only a matter of a few finishing strokes to complete it.

Should it be necessary to do more work on a negative than can be made to adhere to the doped surface, the film can be turned over, doped, and what would otherwise be impossible becomes a very easy matter to accomplish, by finishing the retouching on the reverse side.

This also holds good in making copies of old pictures where deep scratches and blemishes must be removed.There have been some objections to using Portrait Film because of the supposed difficulty of working in backgrounds.

We might say, however, that the day of worked in backgrounds is nearly passed. Like many other ideas it has been somewhat overworked and is being rapidly superceded by other methods of background treatment.Unless the background is worked on a film negative with the air brush it is quite necessary to have the thickness of a glass between the design and the print, to give sufficient atmosphere or softness to the general effect; for, as is well known, if the background is sharper than the subject of the photograph it instantly becomes a foreground instead of a background and the figure or subject becomes a secondary consideration.

Retouching And Working In Backgrounds With Portrai StudioLightMagazine1918 211


By Cornwell - Photographer Dayton, Ohio

One of our most prominent photographers sends in this description of the method he uses for worked in backgrounds:

Flow with ground glass substitute a piece of clear glass; attach to Portrait Film negative at top with a piece of adhesive paper, and then work in design on the ground glass surface as usual.

After prints are made, carefully number the ground and file away for future use.Number the film negative to correspond with the background, so that when duplicate orders are received there will be no confusion as to which ground was originally used.

The same ground can be used for any other negative of similar size and style.In this way you will soon have a fine collection suitable for every style negative, and by varying the arrangement many different effects can be produced.

If desired, the backgrounds can be made on ground surface celluloid and are practically indestructible. These ground surface celluloid backgrounds may be reversed and made to correspond to the negative, no matter from which side the subject has been lighted.

Another very clever way of making backgrounds is to select designs suitable for your pictures, photograph same using Commercial or Process Film, diffusing the focus to render softness, and use the negatives thus obtained in the manner above described.This is perhaps the most simple and effective method of handling the situation, and one within the reach of every photographer.You are conserving material - making every result count when you use

Kodak Tested Chemicals

Retouching And Working In Backgrounds With Portrai StudioLightMagazine1918 214


By Cornwell - Photographer Dayton, Ohio