The Dictionary Of Photography

A True Historic Record Of The Art & Practice Of Photography 100 Years Ago.

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of the paper, the hinged back being put into position, and the springs fastened down. The next question which naturally arises is that of light: what light is the best to print in ? On this point there can be no doubt; except during the months of November, December, J anuary, and February, and in the case of very dense negatives, sunshine should never be used. Some authorities recommend printing in the sun with a screen of tissue paper over the negative, but even in this case the author thinks better effects are obtained by printing in the shade. Select, if possible, a window-sill or other open space, which has a free, uninterrupted view of the sky, and place the printing-frame out and leave for a short time ; then withdraw into a subdued light, and, unfastening one of the springs, turn back the half of the back and examine the paper. Some may think the caution of examining the print in subdued light unnecessary ; but it is not. By examin-ing the paper in a strong light the purity of the whites is degraded, and a decided tinge given to them. For printing from weak thin negatives a screen of tissue paper is an advantage, or the back of the negative may be coated with matt varnish or ordinary negative varnish, tinted with gamboge, aurantia, or some other yellow dye. For very dense negatives, as stated above, printing in the sun is allowable. When a negative is very dense at one end and not at the other, the printing-frame may be placed in a deep lidless box resting up against one side, with the denser end uppermost; by this means the printing may to some extent be equalised. The next question is how dark or to what depth the printing should be carried. On this point considerable difference of opinion exists, it being to some extent dependent upon what toning bath is used, as some baths bleach more than others; but as a rule, for general guidance, printing should be carried on till the whites of the pictures are well coloured and the shadows beginning to block up. Prints should not be kept too long before being toned, as some further chemical change takes place, and discoloration of the paper ensues, and it is then almost impossible to tone satisfactorily, if at all, by any of the ordinary baths. There is one process in photographic printing in which at least considerable artistic skill is required - viz., combination printing, by means of which at least we may to some extent utilise the material already found, and, employing some of the licence of artists of the brush and palette, produce effects which