A box for developing 3-1/4 by 4-1/4 -in. plates is shown in detail in the accompanying sketch. It is made of strips of wood 1/4-in. thick, cut and grooved, and then glued together as indicated. If desired, a heavier piece can be placed on the bottom. Coat the inside of the box with paraffin or wax, melted and applied with a brush. Allow it to fill all crevices so that the developing box will be watertight. It will hold 4 oz. of developer. Boxes for larger plates can be made in the same manner. Use a small wooden clip in taking the plates out of the box, being careful not to scratch the sensitive film. --Contributed by R.J. Smith, Milwaukee, Wis.
Illustration: Details of the Developing Box
Many amateur photographers who desire to do portrait work at home have left the subject alone for the want of a suitable background. A frame such as is used by the professional is entirely out of the question in most homes, says a correspondent of Camera Craft. The frame as shown in the sketch was devised and its chief advantage lies in the fact that when not in use it can be compactly tied together and stored away in a closet.
Almost any wood may be used in constructing this frame, but yellow pine is the best, as it is easily obtained and at the same time very well suited for such work. All pieces are to be dressed on all sides.
Two upright pieces are cut from 3/4 in. material 2 in. wide and 5 ft. 9 in. long and two blocks are fastened on the ends of each that are to be used for the bottom, as shown in Fig. 1. These blocks are each 2 by 6-in. and 1/4 in. thick. The base is made from a piece 3/4 in. thick, 3 in. wide and 5 ft. 4 in. long. A crosspiece 3/4-in. thick, 3 in. wide and 12 in. long, cut in the shape shown in Fig. 2, is screwed on each end of the base with 3-in. wood screws, as shown in Fig. 3. Four blocks 1/4 in. thick, 1 in. wide and 3 in. long are nailed to the sides of the base piece parallel with and at a distance of 2 in. from the end of same. This forms a slot, Fig. 4, to receive the pieces nailed to the ends of the uprights. To secure a rigid frame it is essential that this, joint be accurately put together.
Procure a piece of thick tin or brass and make two pieces like the pattern shown in Fig. 5, with each projection 3-in. long. The width of the crosspiece is 1 in. and the single projection 3/4 in. These are bent and nailed, one on each end of a piece of wood that is 1/4 in. thick, 1 in. wide and 5 ft. long, as in Fig. 6. These will form two pockets that will fit over the tops of the uprights. The frame is put together as shown in Fig. 7. Any background that will hang straight without need of being stretched can be hung on this frame.
Fig. 6 -- Details of Background Frame
A coating for ordinary paper that is said to give green prints is made with a two per cent solution of gelatine, says Photography, and sensitized with the following solution:
Potassium Bichromate 15 gr. Magnesium Sulphate 25 gr. Water 1 oz.
This mixture is spread over the paper in the usual way and the paper dried in the dark. Printing is carried rather far. The print is washed, then surface dried or blotted off on a pad and laid film upwards on a sheet of glass, and the following developer is applied with a wad of cotton wool wrung out:
Pyrocatechin 5 gr. Water 1 oz.
The picture assumes a rich green color when developed, and is then washed for five or ten minutes and dried quickly by heat.
Photograph prints can be mounted on glass with an adhesive made by soaking 1 oz. of sheet gelatine in cold water to saturation, then dissolving in 3-1/2 oz. of boiling water. Let the solution cool to about 110 deg. F., then immerse the print in it and squeegee, face down, on a clear piece of glass. When dry, take a damp cloth or soft sponge and wipe off any surplus gelatine on the glass.
The difficulties of bad lighting on small articles can be entirely avoided by the use of a suitable support for the camera, the object and the background.
Secures Good Light on Small Objects
For illustrations it is often an advantage to show an object with a perfectly plain background and no deep shadows. When using the stand as illustrated this is a very simple matter. Figure 1 shows the side, and Fig. 2 the front view of this stand. The stand is very easily constructed from pipe and pipe fittings. The main pipe of the stand will need to be of proper length to suit the focus of your camera. This can be determined by finding the length from the lens to the object after the bellows are extended to their full length. The arms holding the glass, as shown in the sketch, should be set at a point about the middle of the main tube. The cross that holds the middle arms should be 3/4 in. one way and 1/2 in. the other. This will allow for adjustment of the glass table. A small set screw provided in the back of this cross will hold the table in any position desired. The pipes and other connections are all 1/2-in. and the lengths of the pipes are made suitable for the size of the camera. When a small object is to be photographed it is placed upon the glass table and the background fastened to the board. In this manner small objects can be photographed without any deep shadow on one side. The bottom cross and ells should be corked so as to prevent any slipping and damage to the floor.