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The Barnet Book of Photography A Collection of Practical Articles

With amidol a pure delicate black is easily obtainable


paper is made in several varieties, such as smooth, rough, snow-enamel, cream crayon, etc., and is put up either in tubes, or packed flat. The latter is decidedly the more convenient, it being somewhat difficult to take the curl out of paper that has been rolled. The choice of paper is a matter of taste; for landscape work the rough paper or the cream crayon will perhaps be found most suitable. For finer work, and some classes of portraiture the enamel will prove effective. Rough paper is better for strong broad effects, smooth for more delicate work and the rendering of fine detail. The coated side may be distinguished by its tendency to curl inwards. The easiest way of exposing it is to procure two pieces of patent plate glass of the same thickness as the focussing glass, sandwich the sheet of paper between the two, and secure with strong elastic bands. This will hold it quite flat during exposure, and will not disturb the actinism of the lens or impair the definition of the enlargement.


This part of the work of producing an enlargement will only be lightly dealt with, as the subject is fully treated elsewhere in this volume. The writer prefers the ferrous-oxalate developer for bromide enlargements to any of the more recently introduced developers, but as it requires more skill and judgment to employ it with complete success, beginners may find it better to use amidol or metol, either of which

when properly used gives excellent results. Hydrokinone we do not recommend for this purpose owing to its tendency to give rusty blacks in the event of over-exposure, or undue hardness if it has been too short. With amidol a pure delicate black is easily obtainable, and it is moreover a very simple developer to use. Our own plan is to employ a weak solution and give a full exposure, and by these means we find no difficulty in obtaining good gradation and pure blacks. The dish used for development must not be used for other developers or stains will probably occur. Although a quick appearance of the image is usually a characteristic of amidol, no trouble will be experienced when the developer is used in the way we advise, for the picture will be found to develop slowly and regularly, and gradually grow in strength. Quick development by this method would be an indication of over-exposure. A correctly exposed enlargement should take about ten minutes to develop. One stock solution only is necessary. It will keep indefinitely.

Sulphite of soda 1 ounce. Citric acid 20 grains. Distilled water 40 ounces. Potassium bromide 15 grains.

To each ounce of the above add, just before using, three grains of dry amidol. The exposure must be accurately timed. It is, however, impossible to give useful information on this head, unless such varying factors as the rapidity of the paper, the intensity of the light, the aperture of the lens, and the degree of enlargement are known. The best plan is to cut one of the sheets of bromide paper into twelve strips, and on these make several test exposures, carefully noting the duration of each. It is better (at any rate for a beginner) not to vary the constituents or strength of the developer, but to increase or diminish the exposure until a good result in colour and tonality is obtained. By entering full details relating to the production of a successful enlargement in a notebook, great exactitude in working will be obtained, and there need be little or no waste of material when additional enlargements have to be made from the same negatives at a future time.

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