The "glycerine process," or the process of developing platinotype prints by application of the developing agent with the brush, is perhaps one of the most interesting and fascinating of photographic processes, owing to its far-reaching possibilities.

By this method of developing platinotype paper, many negatives which have been discarded on account of the dim, flat, non-contrasty results which they yield, in the hands of one possessing a little artistic skill, produce snappy, animated pictures. On the other hand, from the sharp and hard negative, soft, sketchy effects may be secured.

There are required for this process: Some glass jars; some soft brushes, varying from the fine spotter and the Japanese brush to the 1.5-inch duster, and several pieces of special blotting paper.


Print the paper a trifle deeper than for the ordinary method of developing. Place the print face up on a piece of clean glass (should the print curl so that it is unmanageable, moisten the glass with glycerine), and, with the broad camel's-hair brush, thinly coat the entire print with pure glycerine, blotting same off in 3 or 4 seconds; then recoat more thickly such portions as are desired especially restrained, or the details partly or entirely eliminated. Now brush or paint such portion of the print as is first desired with solution of 1 part glycerine and 4 parts normal developer, blotting the portion being developed from time to time to avoid developing too far. Full strength developer (without glycerine) is employed where a pronounced or deep shade is wanted.

When any part of the print has reached the full development desired, blot that portion carefully with the blotter and coat with pure glycerine.

A brown effect may be obtained by using saturated solution of mercury in the developer (1 part mercury to 8 parts developer). By the use of diluted mercury the "flesh tones" are produced in portraits, etc.

When print has reached complete development, place in hydrochloric (muriatic) acid and wash as usual.

Eastman's Sepia Paper

This paper is about 3 times as rapid as blue paper. It should be under rather than over printed, and is developed by washing in plain water. After 2 or 3 changes of water fix 5 minutes in a solution of hypo (1.5 grains to the ounce of water), and afterwards wash thoroughly.

Short fixing gives red tones. Longer , fixing produces a brown tone.

Development of Platinum Prints

In the development of platinotype prints by the hot bath process, distinctly warmer tones are obtained by using a bath which has been several times heated, colder blacks resulting from the use of a freshly prepared solution, and colder tones still if the developing solution be faintly acidified. The repeated heating of the solution of the neutral salt apparently has the effect of rendering the bath slightly alkaline by the conversion of a minute proportion of the oxalate into potassium carbonate. If this be the case, it allows a little latitude in choice of tone which may be useful. Some photographers recommend the use of potassium phosphate with the neutral oxalate, stating that the solution should be rendered acid by the addition of a small proportion of oxalic acid. When the potassium phosphate was first recommended for this purpose, probably the acid salt, KH2P04, was intended, by the use of which cold steely black tones were obtained. The use of the oxalic acid with the ordinary phosphate K2HPO4, is probably intended to produce the same result.