This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
A little something now and then in the way of novelty is good for a display, even if it does not produce ready sales. Then, too, the new or novel thing keeps a person on his toes, so to speak, and his interest in doing the different thing keeps photography from becoming monotonous.
The thing we had in mind was pencil and pen sketches made from photographs or rather, over photographs.
The idea may or may not appeal to you but a great many photographers like to try their hand at such things. It does not require an ability to draw but it does require the knack of representing different tones with different methods of shading with pencil or pen.
It might be advisable to first try a landscape or a building. Possibly you have a good negative of your home or some historic landmark that would be attractive if reproduced as a sketch.
Make a normal print from the negative and then make an overexposed print developing the latter until you have just a faint, flat image. Quickly place it in the fixing bath before it becomes too dark.
When the print is dry you are ready to begin your sketch, using the normal print to judge how to sketch in your contrasts. If you wish to make a pencil sketch you will need both hard and soft pencils, the soft for deep shadows and the hard for details.
When you have made your sketch over the photographic image the next step is to dissolve away the silver and leave only the pencil lines on the white paper. The first solution is made as follows:
Hot water . . . 10 ozs. Potassium Iodide . 30 grs. Iodine..... 3 grs.
Dissolve the chemicals in the order given, using very hot water. Allow the solution to cool before placing the print in it. In from 3 to 5 minutes the print will turn a blue black. It is then placed in a fresh acid hypo fixing bath which will remove all of the silver leaving only the pencil sketch.
After thorough fixing and washing the print should be dried and any necessary finishing touches added such as the rubbing in of highlights with an eraser or filling in black shadows.
Your first result may be rather startling. It will make you realize how many tones of gradation are to be found in the most ordinary photograph. But with a little experience you will be able to make some very interesting sketch effects both in landscape and portrait subjects.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
By Charles L. Peck Buffalo, .N. Y.
If sketching the entire portrait seems too difficult the pencil work may be confined to the drapery. A man's coat, collar and tie can easily be sketched over the photograph, in which case, of course the background must be white and the Iodide-Iodine solution painted over the sketched portion with a brush.
When the commercial photographer is in need of an argument to persuade the merchant or manufacturer to use more photographs in his business it might be helpful to quote the following extract from the speech of Amos Parrish at a Milwaukee convention of advertisers:
A child's sleeping garment was recently advertised in the New York Evening Journal at 79 cents. Just four garments were sold from the unpictured copy. A re-run 6 days later - same newspaper - same space - same garment - same price - but with a small picture, sold nine hundred garments, four hundred and fifty through mail orders.
A middy blouse not illustrated sold 35. The same item illustrated sold 210.
An advertisement telling of reed chairs sold 15. An advertisement showing the chairs sold 105.
If pictures will make such a wonderful difference in results, and we believe these statements represent facts, this should certainly be a powerful argument in favor of the photograph, especially for advertising in rotogravure, by which process the photograph reproduces so very well.
The atmosphere of quality created by the new and distinctive surface, Old Master, Vitava Athena will aid materially in popularizing your new styles for the holiday season.
Linen Finish has also gained great favor, both for brilliance of tone and pleasing surface. Both surfaces in white and buff stocks, at your dealer's.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
By Charles L. Peck Buffalo, N. Y.