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The Barnet Book of Photography A Collection of Practical Articles

Bichromate of potass and pigment


appears to have followed up the process with some considerable success, as some of his existing examples are excellent; it is much to be regretted that we have not more detailed particulars of his methods of working; but he evidently was before his time and met with but little encouragement.

To Alfred Maskell and M. Demachy must be accredited the revival of this long neglected process, and during the last three years much advancement has been made towards perfecting it.

Serious workers, both at home and abroad, are industriously exhausting the possibilities of the process, and crude as some of the earlier examples of this revival have been, improvements and simplicity of working are giving us productions of every description, of such excellent quality that it may soon be expected to satisfy even the caustic criticism that has so persistently opposed its re-introduction.

Dexterity in the various stages of practical manipulation is necessary before skilful efficiency can be secured, and in order to arrive at this, due consideration must be given to the selection of the paper the colour most suitable to the subject and the effect desired.

Almost any kind of paper will be found workable, if it be of fairly good quality. Those that are thickly coated with soluble sizing media are unsuitable, for although they may give clear whites they sometimes

produce harsh prints, the half-tones are also liable to be lost in development unless very deeply printed. Several of the continental kinds are well adapted to the process and work in an excellent manner, giving soft and even results; of course, it will be understood that for definition and fine detail the finer grained descriptions are the best, but where diffusion is desired those of a coarser texture may be advantageously used, they give a granulation that tends materially to secure the peculiarities of gradation characteristic of this process.

A few of the continental papers that will be found to work with ease to the beginner, are as follows:--

Michallet paper is rather coarse, but takes the gum coating easily, it has a series of lines running in both directions, which are rather objectionable for some subjects; but it is an excellent paper for first experiments.

Ingres, is also a paper of similar character, and can be worked with equal facility. Lallane is another paper of the same class, but much finer.

Allonge paper is entirely free from the markings peculiar to those previously mentioned. This paper is best worked on the reverse side, which can be distinguished by examining the name marked in one corner.

Among the English papers the ordinary cartridge, Whatman's drawing papers and many others are adaptable, but it must be borne in mind that those with a toothed or grained surface are preferable.

There are two methods of working, and results of equal excellence have been produced by either. Some of the most proficient workers of the process adopt the easier one of coating the paper, without previous preparation, with a mixture of gum, bichromate of potass and pigment. Others adopt the precaution of first saturating the paper with a strong solution of bichromate, and when dry coating it with a mixture containing only gum and pigment.

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