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O INSIGNIFICANT part of the practical value of a thing often depends upon its ready availability," writes our friend and contributor, the Rev. F. C. Lambert. "This certainly applies to one's negatives, when their number becomes a matter of hundreds rather than dozens. For this reason, I would urge my readers to adopt ab initio some system of classifying their negatives in the store-boxes, and making a point of assigning to each negative its proper place as soon as possible after it has been developed and dried, i.e., while the details of its character, object, locality, etc., are quite fresh in one's mind. In my own practice, I utilize the card-boxes in which plates are issued for subsequent storing purposes. These boxes and contents are put on edge on shelves with a strip of gummed paper on the outer edge, on which is written the group, word, or classification letter, and certain indications of the contents of the box. Thus portraits are put in alphabetical order of the sitters' surnames. All outdoor subjects (including architectural interiors) are ordered by the place-name, sub-ordered by specific locality, and then by character of subject. Thus, before me is a box labelled 'Whitby," 'above bridge,' 'figures.' There are a score or more similar 'Whitby' boxes: two of these are devoted to the harbor above the bridge; one contains figure studies and pictures in which the figure element prevails; the other, labelled 'shipping,' in place of 'figures,' contains the pictures in which the boat element prevails. Often one finds there are not enough plates belonging to one small sub-group to fill a box. These are grouped by locality as far as possible. In such case, it is convenient to indicate the number of each little lot, thus, 3. Margate; 5, Broadstairs; 6, Ramsgate. In the case of negatives taken for cloud and sky effects, with a view to their future use for combination purposes, locality is of no consequence. All cloud and sky negatives may be grouped according to their character and main direction of lighting, e.g., early morning, sunset, etc., and again as right, left, front, and back lighting. In the scientific subjects, the large groups are botany, geology, etc., and the subdivisions alphabetical."
E SHOULD like to hear from our valued contributor, Mr. Daniel
J. McCarthy, formerly of Wilkinsburg, Pa.
should like to forward.
Monthly Foreign Digest
TRANSLATED BY HENRY F. RAESS.
AN ACCORDION CAMERA.
A man by the name of Lukesch who represented himself as an agent for photographic concern, was recently tried for fraud at the county court of Salzburg, Austria. His specialty was to approach elderly ladies and appeal to their vanity by telling them that he was an excellent artist and retoucher and that he could make them appear young and beautiful in the photographs. On receiving a deposit he would set up his apparatus and make an exposure, then promise to send the pictures in a few days, but his customers received nothing. The sharp eyes of one lady was his undoing, she noticed that the camera had a somewhat unusual
apearance and while the photographer had his head under the focusing cloth she suddenly drew the cloth from the camera and found an old accordion with a part of an opera glass for a lens. Lukesch knew absolutely nothing about photography but had used in all his exposures this accordion and of course never made a picture. It was difficult to convict the man as very few of the ladies would appear against him on account of the notoriety. He was convicted on a charge of fraud and sentenced to four months in prison. -Deutsche Photographen Zeitung, Vol. 30, No. 33.
YELLOW STAINS ON BROMIDE PRINTS. Yellow stains or spots on bromide or gaslight prints from unknown causes or from trays which were not properly cleaned, may usually be removed by placing the prints in a dilute solution of “hypo" containing a small amount of acetic acid. -Photographische Industrie, No. 49.
FACSIMILE COPIES ON PARCHMENT, BY MENTE.
To make prints which resemble old parchment documents, a sheet of parchment is treated with a solution containing: English. Metric.
1000 C.C. 2.0 gms. 20.0 gms. 20.0 gms.
5 drams Ammonium chloride 5 drs. Sodium. potas. tartrate The sheet of parchment is then hung up to dry. When dry it is sensitized by brushing on with a tuft of cotton, a 12 per cent. solution of silver nitrate. The printing, toning, fixing, and washing is done exactly like the usual salted paper -Photographische Industrie.
X-RAY EXPOSURES, BY WELS.
The author made the important observation that X-ray rays produced secondary rays which also acted upon the plate. When a plate is lying on a substance, as for instance a board, the plate is often fogged. This fogging from secondary rays has never been considered and probably has been the cause of many failures. To insure against happenings of this kind the plate should be placed upon substances which are not penetrated by X-rays, like a lead plate.-Apollo, Vol. 12, No. 264.
UNEVEN PLATINUM TONING.
It sometimes happens that in toning matte collodion papers that portions of the prints will not tone, such prints need not be thrown away but may be saved by carefully heating the untoned portions over an alcohol flame. The print should be moved about to prevent undue heating or burning.-Apollo, Vol. 12, No. 264.
TRANSPORTING WET PLATES OR FILMS.
The wet plates may be replaced in the holders or they may be placed in a plate box after taking the precaution to put a narrow strip of cardboard between the films of two plates to prevent them from coming in contact. By this means it is possible to carry a dozen plates in one box. In the case of a roll of film, the gelatine should be removed from both sides of a spoiled roll, this may be done with warm or hot water. The two sides of the clean celluloid film is then covered with glycerine then laid between two wet films and whole rolled up.
-Kamera Kunst, Vol. 7, No.
Die Spiegelflexkamera. Ihr Wesen und ih Konstruktion, 1910, by Anton Mayer. 48 illustrations. Published by Wilhelm Knapp, Halle a.S., Germany. Price, Mk. 2.40.
A very interesting and well illustrated book on the theory and practice of reflect
ing camera construction. It treats practically all the well-known models made on the Continent, England, and the United States. The volume is not intended to teach one how to use a reflecting camera but to interest those who have never used one and to help them in selecting a suitable model. The theoretical section will be of considerable assistance to those who either wish to construct their own or are already manufacturing them. There is also a list of German patents issued in this field for the past 17 years.
Das Lebende Bild, 1910, 53 illustrations, by F. Paul Liesegang. Published by Ed. Liesegang's Verlag, (M. Eger.) Leipsig, Germany. Price, Mk. 2.0.
Kinematography or as it is popularly known, moving pictures, has been greatly developed in recent years, and by the numerous places of exhibition it has interested the public and aroused their curiosity as to how these pictures and scenes were made. The author begins with the subject of retinal impression which then leads to the various early forms of apparatus for viewing "living" pictures and finally the modern method for making and exhibiting moving pic
Deutscher Photographen Kalendar, 1910, Volume 29, Part 2, 650 pages. Published by Deutschen Photographen-Zeitung, Weimar, Germany. Price, Mk. 2.0.
This second half of the "Kalendar" contains a list of the photographic societies, professional and amateur, of the world; the names of German and Austrian members of photographic societies; a list of German manufacturers of photographic materials such as plates, paper, cameras, etc., a list of the world's photographic publications, and much other information of a similar nature.
Items of Interest
EXHIBITION IN ROME NEXT YEAR.
In connection with the commemorative festivities at Rome next year, there is to be held in April and May an international exhibition of artistic photography “in Castel S. Angelo." The president, Professor Giacomo Boni, has prefaced the prospectus by some observations of such far-reaching and special interest that we quote his words in extenso: "I have accepted the presidency of the International Exhibition of Artistic and Scientific Photography with the conviction that it will contribute to the better knowledge of monuments and other beautiful objects which are being altered by natural causes, or being spoiled or destroyed by industrialism, and of which it is therefore necessary to have some enduring record. For this purpose photography is peculiarly useful, for it accumulates images by means of the camera just as the senses collect materials for intellectual analysis by means of the memory. Photography, separated alike from idle dilettantism and from mere professionalism, is becoming specialized, and enables us to appreciate and compare more closely the characteristics of objects. Thus the reproduction of ancient works of art, especially of pictures, which are peculiarly liable to decay or destruction, is constantly improving, partly by the perfection of old methods, partly by the discovery of new ones. But less has been done for the physical outlines and structures of countries, their history or picturesque landscapes; their mountains and vast scenery, their forests, rivers, and lakes, their anthropology and ethnography. Some years ago the Italian Minister of Education welcomed the idea of ascertaining by means of photography the average type of the population in the mountain districts of Sicily, Calabria, Lucania, Abruzzi, Piceum,
Sabine, Umbria, etc., where there still survive the descendants of indigenous races, the offspring of Dorian, Ionian, and Calcedian colonies, of Celtic, Lombard, Arabian, Norman, Suabian, and Iberian invaders, to whom Italy owes her great. variety of characteristics and natural aptitudes.
THE SMALL CAMERA.
To-day is the day of the small camera, writes the Rev. F. C. Lambert, in the London Telegraph, yielding its correspondingly small negative, which usually is employed for making an enlarged print. Recently judging a competition forcefully reminded me of the importance of a point very frequently overlooked by the maker of enlargements-viz., that each negative has its own best degree of enlargement. What this degree is appears to depend on several factors. To work backwards, one should imagine the finished and framed picture in its place on the wall. If it is fairly high up, or in a large room, one naturally views it at a somewhat greater distance than if it be hung on a line with the eye and in a small apartment; and the farther away it be viewed the larger the scale it should be, all other conditions being neutral. Again, the roughness or smoothness of the paper has to be kept in mind-a matter easily overlooked when the paper is wet. A rough surface breaks up or subdues fine detail more than does a smooth paper. And, again, the rougher paper will show somewhat less light-and-shade contrastsi.e., the darks will not look quite so solid and dark on the rougher paper. Then as regards the sharpness of the negative image, there is a degree of magnification beyond which the sharpest negative breaks down. Once more the nature of the subject will largely determine our wishes as to whether we wish this part as sharp as
possible, or that part so far diffused that it becomes a mere background patch of light or dark, as the case may be. Also, one naturally associates large things-e.g., buildings, open landscape, mountain scenery, etc. with large pictures. On the other hand, small things-e.g., flowers-can easily be over-enlarged.
THE OLD NEGATIVE MAN.
There are people in every large city who make a business of buying up old used photographic plates, cleaning and reselling them. They get their supply mostly from the photographers who make a specialty of commercial or newspaper illustration. No one knows how many thousands of these square of glass are sold every week, but the number must be enormous in the aggregate.
While it is the custom for photographers to preserve carefuly all plates that they think may be of future value, they discard a great many more than they keep. A firm of newspaper photographers, for instance, will send out several men to get pictures of snow scenes or of spring in the suburbs or of summer at the seaside. Each will bring back half a dozen views. Only three or four will be selected as being worth preserving. The other twenty or thirty plates will be dumped in a big box with the other discards to await the coming of the glassman.
The average selling price for the plate of ordinary size is three dollars a thousand. These plates cost the photographer originally about eighty cents a dozen. By means of an acid bath the dark covering is quickly removed, and the glass becomes as clear as though it had never been used. Some of these plates are sold to manufacturers to be recoated with the sensitive film and to be used once more in photography. A far greater number, however, are disposed of to dealers who sell them to people who are fond of making passepartout pictures. Still more find their way to greenhouse men and those gardeners who have acres of "cold frames," where vegetables are propagated under glass. A few are used as decorative or protective features around flower-beds in suburban estates.-Harper's Weekly.
A Swedish invention, called the photographone, by means of which it is said that sound-waves can be registered on a photographic plate, promises wonderful possibilities. The negative is developed in the ordinary way, and the sound-curves transferred to rubber plates, from which the sound is reproduced as by the gramophone. Any number of photographone records can be produced and if the original music or song should not be strong enough to fill a large concert hall, the sound can be increased as desired.-Technical Magazine.
There was a certain police sergeant who had brought a camera, and became deeply interested in developing, toning, enlarging, reducing, and the various other photographic processes.
Shortly after he had embarked on this new hobby, the sergeant got an order for the arrest of a man who had fled to a neighboring town. Along with the order came the man's photograph. The sergeant hastened with the photograph to his studio, and there he copied it, developed the negative, and made six prints.
Writing the terse order, "Arrest this man," on the back of each print, he sent them immediately to the neighboring town, whence, the next day, he received the following despatch:
"Have arrested five of the incriminated men, and hope to land the sixth before nightfall.”
'I didn't think you would let the photographer kiss you on such short acquaintance."
"Well, he convinced me that it was my own fault that I hadn't met him sooner." -Photoisms.
"I have been taking some moving pictures of life on your farm."
"Did you ketch the hired man in motion?"
"I think so."
"Ah, science kin do anything these days." -Louisville Courier-Journal.