The amateur who has secured a fine negative of some choice bit of scenery, or has made a "hit" on any subject interesting or beautiful, will naturally desire to secure prints or impressions from it, that he may gratify his friends with a copy or supply the demand for exchanges with the members of his camera club.
The accomplishment of this desire is neither difficult nor expensive, as there are several processes by which the amateur may print for himself as many impressions as will suit his purpose. If silver prints are preferred, any photographer will produce them at small expense; or if the amateur is sufficiently posted in this branch of the art, and has the facilities, he can easily make them himself. The matter is much simplified by procuring from the nearest stock dealer or photographer, ready sensitized paper. Few amateurs, however, I imagine, would care to incur the expense of a silver-printing outfit. Those who would will find in the first part of this book full instructions in the article on silver printing.
The processes by which the amateur may most easily produce prints from his own negatives by his own skill and labor are:
The Gelatino bromide paper process.
Anthony's collodio-chloride process.
Ferro-prussiate or blue process.
Transparencies in glass or opal.
printing on anthony's gelatino bromide paper.
This paper is prepared with a sensitive surface, similar to the dry plates commonly used, and must be handled with the same care and subject to the same conditions of light; consequently the printing must be done by artificial light only.
The paper being cut to the sizes desired, should be kept in a light-tight box, and in a dark room. When about to print, place the negative in a printing frame in the same manner as for silver printing, lay the paper with the gelatine surface down upon the negative, place a cloth pad upon the paper, then press the frame back firmly down to secure even contact of the paper with the negative.
All this should be done in a dark room by the aid of a non-actinic light, and for this purpose Anthony's Climax Dark-Room Lantern, Patented, as shown in the following cut, would seem to fulfil every requirement. A more expensive, but very convenient instrument, however, is carbutt's multum in parvo dry platE lantern,
Lantern arranged for developing, and after fixing, examining negatives by opal light, which has proved to be most suitable for this particular purpose.
The paper having been placed in the printing frame, the frame is set up,
Lantern arranged for making positives by contact, as seen in the cut, and the door in the side of the lantern opened, which permits the white light from the lamp to fall upon the surface of the negative; an exposure of from 5 to 10 seconds is all that will be necessary, even in case the negative is quite dense; a thin negative will print with less exposure, say 3 to 5 seconds, at a distance of from 12 to 15 inches from the light.
The paper when taken from the frame presents no change of surface, and must be developed in the same manner as a dry plate, to bring out the picture.
Previous to developing, lay the paper in a dish of clean water for a short time, and then transfer it to the developing tray.
The developing is done by the ferrous oxalate process. Solutions as follows:
Saturated solution oxalate potash..........3 oz.
Saturated "photosulphate iron.......½ oz.
Bromide " (12 grains bromide of ammonium to 1 oz. water.).........¼ dram.
Saturated solution tartaric acid..........2 drops.
This developer can be used several times successively until it becomes turbid. The best way is to first print and develop one print, to ascertain the proper time of exposure. Then make as many prints as are necessary, and develop them all together in a dish large enough, and with sufficient of the solution to cover them nicely. Observe carefully not to develop too far, as the resulting prints will be too dark. When the prints are developed, wash them well and fix them in a new solution of then wash again and hang up, or place between clean blotters to dry.
Hyposulphite of soda................1 ounce.
The fixing will require from five to ten minutes; then wash and pass the prints through a clearing solution consisting of
Water............................. 6 "
It is necessary that the hands be free from any trace of silver or hypo when handling these prints while developing, or afterwards when wet, to avoid stains, etc. The same precautions as to the relative proportions of the oxalate solution and the iron are to be observed as for the development of negatives.