The inexperienced amateur often finds in his negatives small pinholes, which cause dark spots to appear in the print. As careful workers are rarely troubled by them, the cause must be one which may be avoided by the exercise of proper care. We will here consider their causes and the remedies for them. The larger number are due to dust, which collects in the bellows and frame of the camera and in the plate-holders. This is especially true if the camera has not been used for some time. The camera should be gone over at suitable intervals with a damp, but not wet, cloth, and the plate-holders in the same way. This may easily be done when plates are taken out for de- • velopment, but after the developing is finished. Before loading, the holders should always be dusted with a camel's-hair brush, and likewise the plates. When in a hurry one is very apt to neglect this, but will generally regret having done so.

Before developing, the plates should be brushed, and with plates that have been in the holder for some time before exposure, a gentle cleaning with wet absorbent cotton just before developing will help matters. The developer sometimes forms air bubbles, which may be prevented by blowing the developer so that it fully covers the plate with one sweep. In addition, a swab of absorbent cotton may be gently passed over the plate to insure all parts being thoroughly reached by the developer ; but this should be done immediately after immersion in the developer.

If, after using due care, such spots are still found in the negative, they may, if not too numerous, be removed by " spotting." This consists in applying a suitable pigment, such as India ink or water-color, with a fine camel's-hair brush. The negative should be inclined on a framework, back of which has been placed a sheet of white paper, so that the lines of the negative will be quite distinct. The light should come from the back of the stand, with the worker facing it. A reading-glass may be used to good advantage in this work, as it enables the color to be applied with a greater nicety, which is very desirable.

The color used should match as closely as possible that of the film, so that the printing quality will be uniform. The color should be of considerable consistency, and very little taken into the brush at one time. If too moist, it will very likely make a bad matter worse. It should be applied very delicately and slowly, that the surrounding film may not be injured, and should be free from dust. Clean water should be used for mixing it. After applying a little color to a spot, work on another while the first is drying; returning to it later, if necessary. If too much is put on, let it dry and then remove with the point of a fine needle rather than with a wet brush. A little practice will enable one to greatly improve a negative, the printing qualities of which are injured by pinholes.