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The Barnet Book of Photography A Collection of Practical Articles

I favour ordinary gaslight passed through a No


Class of Negative._--Bromide paper gives us a great command over results; in fact, so vast is the control we may exercise that it is possible to secure good results from almost all classes of negatives, from mere ghosts to those with density almost equal to that of a brick wall. But there is, of course, a class of negative that gives a good result with the least expenditure of skill, such a one is generally known as of average density, having a full scale of gradation with high-lights dense, yet not so opaque as to prevent you seeing a window clearly defined when looking towards it _through_ the densest parts of the film, such as the sky, for instance. Another way to test the density is to put the negative, film side down, on some large print on white paper, the large letters should be just visible through the sky, but the smaller print should not be readable.

That is the class of negative usually considered in Instructions for Use, as an "average" negative.

_The Sensitive Side of the Paper._--A difficulty sometimes occurs in telling which is the sensitive side of the paper: this may be easily ascertained by the appearance of the edge, which turns slightly inwards _towards_ the sensitive side. This is quite apparent to the sense of touch as well as sight. Some people moisten their finger and thumb and squeeze the paper and see which sticks (the sensitive side), but that is a dirty method and quite unnecessary.

style="text-align: justify;">_Printing from the Negative._--Having unpacked the paper, after making sure that all but the yellow (or ruby) light has been excluded from the room, we are ready to print.

For this purpose, different workers favour different classes of light: one prefers gaslight, another swears by magnesium ribbon, and some even prefer the light of day.

Personally, I favour ordinary gaslight passed through a No. 5 Bray's burner, because it is quite rapid enough for all practical purposes and is perfectly under control and free from serious variation.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

The burner should be within easy reach of the worktable and should be fitted with a byepass to obviate the necessity of continually striking matches. Several years ago I had my bromide printing rooms fitted with an excellent lantern of this class in which the byepass was connected to two jets (one inside and the other outside the lantern) in such a way as to turn down the white light with the same movement that raised the coloured light, and _vice versa_. By this means no gas was wasted and the simple action of pulling or pushing a lever operated either light at will. By placing the same lever "amidships," both jets were lowered to the point of invisibility and could so remain for days at a time, yet always ready at a moment's notice. The accompanying sketch (fig. 1) will give some idea of its construction.

If the dark-room is small, and space is an object, the sink may be fitted with a wooden cover and this may be used as a table for printing the paper, but care must be observed to avoid the slightest moisture upon it or satisfactory work is impossible and the negatives may be ruined. In a large room, it is much better to have an ordinary kitchen table removed some distance from the sink; with this and a comfortable chair bromide printing is a very pleasant occupation. The following sketch (fig. 2) will explain the arrangement of the table, and it applies equally well to the movable top of the sink.

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