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PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTING

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 523 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTING APPARATUS For ordinary printing purposes pressure frames, with or without glass fronts, are used for holding the negative and sensitive paper in close contact during exposure to light. They are fitted with hinged backs enabling the progress of the printing to be seen. The pressure is usually given with springs or with screws or wedges acting on the back. They are made in different kinds shown in the dealers' catalogues. For copying large tracings and engineers' drawings by the cyanotype and similar processes large glazed frames are used, mounted on a stand with axle, so that they may be easily turned over for refilling or fixed at a suitable angle to the light. The pressure is given by an elastic cushion or vacuum arrangement, by which air is pumped out from under an indiarubber sheet covering the back of the frame, thus securing a perfectly uniform pressure of about 14 lb to the square inch without strain on the front glass. Such frames are also useful for various photo-mechanical printing processes with large negatives or metal plates. For rapid printing of post-card and other negatives up to 82 X 62 in. a handy and simple apparatus the " Rapide " has been brought out, consisting of a lantern fitted for oil, gas or electric light, with a sloping front, in which a special printing frame is fixed and arranged so that the prints can be rapidly exposed one after another (B. J. A. 1909), p. 691. In another form arrangements are made for exposing a large number of printing frames on a suit-able stand, in one or two tiers round a central arc lamp, which may be provided, as in the " Westminster " revolving printing frame, with a shade to protect the eyes of the operator when examining the prints or changing the frames. For printing tracings, &c., in long rolls, cylinder and rotatory machines of various types are used, so that the tracing and sensitive paper may be drawn together at a regulated speed in close contact round a glass cylindrical surface within which electric arc or mercury vapour lamps supply the source of light. Several machines of this kind are described in Eder's Jahrbuch for 1908, also in the patent records and photographic journals. raphy "; Photography Annuals (1891 to 1899) ; Photographic Journal Ph. Journ.) • Year Books of Photography to 1907. Lenses and Optics: C. Beck and A. Andrews, Photographic Lenses (6th ed.); W K. Burton, Optics for Photographers (1891); R. S. Cole, A Treatise on Photographic Optics (1899) ; T. R. Dallmeyer, Telephotography (1899) ; J. A. Hodges, Photographic Lenses (1895) ; Captain Houdaille, Sur une mithode d'essai scientifique et pratique des objectifs photographiques (1894) ; G. L. Johnson, Photographic Optics and Colour Photography (1909) ; 0. Lummer, Contributions to Photographic Optics, translated and augmented by Professor S. P. Thompson (1900) ; Dr A. Miethe, Optique photographigue sans divellopements mathematiques, translation by A. Noaillon and V. Hassreidter (1896) ; Lieut.-Colonel P. Moessard, L 'Optique photographique (1898), L'Objectif photographique (1899); C. W. Piper, A First Book of the Lens (1901); Dr M. von Rohr, Theorie and Geschichte des photographischen Objectivs (1899), a most valuable theoretical and historical summary of photographic optics and its literature; Hans Schmidt, Das Fern-Objectiv em Portrdt- Architectur- and Landschaftsf ache (1898); Dr H. Schroeder, Die Elemente der photographischen Optik (1891); J. T. Taylor, The Optics of Photography and Photographic Lenses (3rd ed., 1904) ; The " Photo- Miniature Series," No. 1 (1899), Modern Lenses, No. 26 (1901), Telephotography; No. 36 (1902), Lens Facts and Helps; No. 79 (1907), The Choice and Use of Photographic Lenses. Hand Cameras, Shutters, Exposure Meters, &'c.: Sir W.de W. Abney, Instantaneous Photography (1895); H. Boursault, Calcul du temps de pose en photographie (1896); W. B. Coventry, The Technics of the Hand Camera (1901), the working principles of lenses, shutters, &c., for instantaneous exposures are treated mathematically and practically; L. David, Die Moment-Photographie (1898); G. de Chapel d'Espinassoux, Traite pratique de la determination du temps de pose (189o) ; Dr R. Krugener, Die Hand Camera and ihre Anwendung fur die Moment-Photographie (1898) ; A. Londe, La Photographie instantanee, theorie et pratique (3rd ed., 1897) ; F. W. Pilditch, Drop-Shutter Photography (1896) ; A. de la Baume Pluvinel, Le Temps de pose (189o) ; A. Watkins, The Watkins Manual of Exposure and Development (4th ed., 1908). The Practical Photographer, No. 8 (1904), " Hand Camera Work." The " Photo-Miniature Series," No. 3 (1899), Hand Camera Work; No. 37 (1902), Film Photography; No. 56 (1903), The Hurter and Driffield System; No. 76 (1906), The Hand Camera; No. 77 (1907), Focal Plane Photography. Colour Photography: Agenda Lumiere, La Photographic des couleurs et les plaques aulochromes (1909); G. E. Brown and C. W. Piper, Colour Photography with the Lumiere Autochrome Plates (19o7); Baron A. von Hiibl, Three Colour Photography, translated by H. O. Klein (1904); Theorie and Praxis der Farben Photographie mit Autochrom Flatten (1908); G. L. Johnson, Photographic Optics and, Colour Photography (1909); Dr E. Konig, Natural Colour Photography (trans. by E. J. Wall (1906) ; Die Autochrom Photographie and die verwandten Dreifarbenraster-verfahren (1908). (J. WA.) . III.—PICTORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY Pictorial photography differs from other branches of photo-graphic practice in the motive by which it is prompted. Employing the same methods and tools, it seeks to use photographic processes as a means of personal artistic expression. Thus in the early days of Fox Talbot's calotype, about 1846, David Octavius Hill, a successful Scottish painter, took up this method of portrayal, and, guided by an artist's knowledge and taste, and unfettered by photographic convention, which indeed had then scarcely begun to grow, produced portraits which for genuine pictorial quality have perhaps never been surpassed, especially if some allowance be made for the necessary imperfections of the " Talbotype " (see Plate II). Whether they were in their day typical examples of Talbotype with all the latest improvements, Hill probably never cared. When, again, a few years later, Sir William J. Newton, the eminent miniature painter, read a paper before the newly formed Photographic Society of Great Britain (now the Royal Photo-graphic Society), his recommendation to depart from the custom of defining everything with excessive sharpness caused his address to be almost epoch-making. " I do not conceive it to be necessary or desirable," he said, " for an artist to represent, or aim at, the attainment of every minute detail, but to endeavour at producing a broad and general effect. . . . I do not consider that the whole of the subject should be what is called `in focus'; on the contrary, I hale found in many, in-stances that the object is better obtained by the whole subject being a little out of focus." The doctrine has been persistently repeated ever since, but only within the last decade of the 19th century was the suppression or diffusion of focus received by photographers generally with anything better than ridicule or contempt, because it was unorthodox. O. G. Rejlander, Mrs Julia Margaret Cameron, H. P. Robinson, and others, by precept or practice, strove against such photographic conventions as had arisen out of those technical exigencies to which pictorial qualities were so often sacrificed. As late as 1868, in the Manual of Photographic Manipulation, by Lake Price, the old advice to arrange a group of persons in crescent form, so as to adapt the subject to the curve of the field of the lens, was repeated with the additional recommendation of plotting out on the ground beforehand the " curve of the focus " as a guide. As a defiance of this dictum, Rejlander, in 1869, produced a group of the members of the Solar Club in which some of the chief figures were set widely out of the " curve of the focus." The mere technical difficulties of this performance with wet collodion plates, and in an ordinary upper room, need not be touched uponhere, but it is to be noted as one of those triumphant departures from convention which have marked the progressive stages of pictorial photography. At about the same period, Mrs Cameron, carrying the recommendation of " a little out of focus " rather further, regardless of how her lens was intended to be used by its maker, secured the rendering dictated by her own taste and judgment, with the result that many of her portraits, such as those of Tennyson, Carlyle, &c., are still in their way unsurpassed. Contemporaneously, Adam Salomon, a talented sculptor, " sunned " down the too garish lights of his photographic prints, and strengthened the high lights by working on the back of the negative. But, during the concluding quarter of the 19th century, probably the most powerful influence in pictorial photography was that of H. P. Robinson, who died in February 1901, and, but for a brief period about the year 1875, was one of the most prolific " picture makers." Inspired by Rejlander, of whom he was a contemporary, Robinson will perhaps be best remembered by his earlier advocacy of combination printing. As early as 1855 Berwick and Annan exhibited a photograph which was the result of printing from more than one negative, a figure from one plate being cunningly introduced into a landscape print from another. Then came from Rejlander " The Two Ways of Life," in which, with wonderful ingenuity, thirty different negatives were combined. Robinson followed, and between 1858 and 1887 exhibited numerous examples of combination-printing, one of the most popular and fairly typical examples being " Carolling " (see Plate II), which received a medal in the exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society in 1887. Though in this combination-printing one may perhaps perceive the germ of incentive towards the production of special effects not seen in the original, yet the practice was not destined to become very popular, for even in the most capable hands there remains the difficulty, if not impossibility, of fitting a portion of one negative into a print from another and still preserving true relative tonality, and even true proportion. Skilfully produced, eminently popular in character though " Carolling " may be, such errors are not absent. Of this combination-printing Dr P. H. Emerson has said: " Cloud printing is the simplest form of combination-printing, and the only one admissible when we are considering artistic work. Rejlander, however, in the early days of photography, tried to make pictures by combination-printing. This process is really what many of us practised in the nursery, that is, cutting out figures and pasting them into white spaces left for that purpose in the picture-book. With all the care in the world the very best artist living could not do this satisfactorily. Nature is so subtle that it is impossible to do this sort of patchwork and represent her. Even if the greater truths be registered, the lesser truths, still important, cannot be obtained, and the softness of outline is easily lost. The relation of the figure to the landscape can never be truly represented in this manner, for all subtle modelling of the contour of the figure is lost." Pictorial photography received a large accession of votaries in consequence of the greater facilities offered by the introduction of the gelatino-bromide, or dry-plate, process, which, although dating from 188o, did not notably affect photographic communities until some years afterwards; and although irnprovement in appliances and instruments had little to do with the advance of the pictorial side of photography, yet, indirectly at least, the dry-plate and the platinotype printing process have had an undoubted effect. The former gave enormously increased facility, and dispensed with tedious manipulations and chemical knowledge, while its increased light-sensitiveness decreased the limitations as to subjects and effects. The platinotype process was discovered in 1874—188o by W. Willis, who employed his chemical skill and knowledge to give the world a printing process more likely than the hitherto prevalent. silver papers to satisfy artistic requirements. Up to 1882 but few outdoor photographers had ventured to run counter to the general dictum that photographs should only be taken during sunshine or good bright light, and unquestioning consent would have been given everywhere to the proposition that it would be absurd to work when anything like fog or atmospheric haze was present. Isochromatic plates, introduced for the purpose of equalizing the actinic power of various colour luminosities, and so rendering colours in correct relative value, were recommended by one writer, who applauded their supposed advantage of enabling the photographer to photograph distance without any suggestion of atmosphere. That evening or morning haze might enhance the beauty of a landscape, or that the mystery of half-concealment might itself be beautiful, does not seem to have occurred to the photographer, who had become infatuated by the exquisite clearness and sharpness which, with a minimum of labour, he was able to achieve. It is therefore interesting to note one of the first photographic successes which broke away from this convention, just as Rejlander's Solar Club group defied the formula of arranging human figures like the tiers of an amphitheatre. William M'Leish, of Darlington, a Scottish gardener who had taken to photography, and who seems to have been less under the influence, or it may have been that he was ignorant, of the old dicta, sent to the Royal Photographic Society's Exhibition in 1882 a photograph entitled " Misty Morning on the Wear," a very beautiful view of Durham Cathedral as seen through the mist from across the river. The judges, although they that year awarded eleven medals, passed this by; but appreciation came from outside, for newspaper critics, and practically all those who were not blinded by prejudice and conventionality, declared it to be the photograph of the year. The exhibitions immediately succeeding revealed numerous imitators of M'Leish, and both figure and landscape work began to be shown in which there was evidence of greater freedom and originality. Meanwhile the Photographic Society of Great Britain had drifted away from its artistic starting-point, and had become chiefly absorbed in purely scientific and technical subjects. But the general apathy which existed in respect of the artistic aspirations of some workers was the forerunner of a period of renaissance which was to end in lifting the pictorial side of photography into a greatly improved position. In 1886 Dr P. H. Emerson read before the Camera Club a paper on " Naturalistic Photography," which served as an introduction to the publication (1887) of his book under that title. Unquestionably this book struck a powerful blow at the many conventionalities which had grown up in the practice of photography; the chief doctrines set forth being the differentiation of focus in different planes, a more complete recognition and truer rendering of " tone," a kind of truthful impressionism derived from a close study and general acquaintance of nature, and a generally higher and more intellectual standard. After the publication of a second edition in 1889 Dr Emerson publicly renounced the views he had published, by issuing in January of 1891 a bitterly worded, black-bordered pamphlet, entitled The Death of Naturalistic Photography. But the thoughts which the book had stirred were not to be stilled by its withdrawal. Towards the end of the same year the conflict which within the Photographic Society had become apparent as between the pictorial enthusiasts and the older school, culminated in connexion with some matters respecting the hanging of certain photographs at the exhibition of that year; and a number of prominent members resigned their membership as a protest against the lack of sympathy and the insufficient manlier in which pictorial work was represented and encouraged. This secession was to prove the most important event in the history of that branch of photography. The secessionists being among the most popular contributors to the annual exhibition gathered round them numerous sympathizers. In the following year they formed themselves into a brotherhood called " Tb Linked Ring," and in 1893 held their first " Photographic Salon," at the Dudley Gallery, Piccadilly. The most noteworthy of the early adherents attracted to the new body was James Craig Annan, whose work was practically unknown until he exhibited it at the first Salon; and almost at once he, by general consent, took a position amongst pictorial photographers second to none (see Plate II). It may be well to glance at such improvements of process or apparatus as have not been direct and essential means to pictorial advance, but rather modifications and improvements made in response to the requirements of the artistic aspirant. Such improvements are of two orders—those which are devised with the aim of securing greater accuracy of delineation, the correction of distortion and of apparent exaggeration of perspective, and the more truthful rendering of relative values and tones; and those which seek to give the operator greater personal control over the finished result. While great advances have been made in photo-graphic optics, it cannot be said that pictorial work has been thereby materially assisted, some of the most successful exponents preferring to use the simplest form of uncorrected objective, or even to dispense with the lens altogether, choosing rather to employ a minute aperture, technically called a " pinhole." This is but one example of many which might be quoted to bear out the statement that in photography the advance of anything in the nature of artistic qualities has not been correlative with mechanical improvements. The hand camera can only be said to have had an indirect influence: it has increased the photographer's facilities, and by removing the encumbrance of heavy tools has widened his sphere of operations; but it is perhaps in connexion with the plates and printing processes that more direct advantages have been gained. The fact that the actinic power of colours is not proportional to their luminosity was long regretted as an obstacle to correct representation; but by the introduction of orthochromatic or isochromatic plates in 1886 (when B. J. Edwards bought the Tailfer and Clayton patent, under which he shortly brought out his orthochromatic plates) this original disability was removed; while with increased rapidity in the isochromatic plate colour values may still further be corrected by the use of coloured screens or light filters, without interfering with the practicability of making sufficiently rapid exposures for most subjects. Again, by a better knowledge of what is required in artistic representation, certain modifications in the formulated treatment of ordinary and uncorrected plates are found to do much towards removing the evil; hence, with an ordinary plate " backed " so as to counteract over-exposure of the higher lights, an exposure may, except in extreme cases, be given of length sufficient to secure the feeble rays of the less actinic colours, and by subsequent suitable development a result hardly distinguishable from that of a colour corrected plate may be secured. Chemical experiment has placed in the photographer's hands improved and easier means of entire, unequal and local intensification and reduction, but utility of these is restricted. By the artistic worker it is claimed that the lens and camera are but the tools, and the negative the preliminary sketch or study, the final print standing to him in the same relation as the finished painting does to the artist. In the production of the print various means of personally controlling the formation of the image have been resorted to. Thus the local development of platinotype by means of glycerine has its champions, but it seems to have been little used, its resuscitation being chiefly due to two or three prominent workers in New York. Here should also be mentioned the revival in 1898 of rough-surface printing papers, chiefly those sensitized with silver, the roughest texture drawing papers being employed to break up the excessive sharpness of the photographic image, and by the superficial inequalities introducing the effect Aroused into greater activity by these events, the Royal Photographic Society began to pay more attention to what had now become the more popular phase. At subsequent exhibitions the technical and scientific work was hung separately from the " Art Section," and a separate set of judges was elected for each section. It became the custom to allot by far the greater amount of space to the " artistic "; and later, artists were elected as judges, by way of encouraging those who were devoted to the pictorial side to send in for exhibition. In the autumn of 1900 the New Gallery was secured, and a comprehensive exhibition of all phases of photography was held. It is interesting to note that as a distinct movement pictorial photography is essentially of British origin, and this is shown by the manner in which organized photographic bodies in Vienna, Brussels, Paris, St Petersburg, Florence and other European cities, as well as in Philadelphia, Chicago, &c., following the example of London, held exhibitions on exactly similar lines to those of the London Photographic Salon, and invited known British exhibitors to contribute. The international character of the " Linked Ring " encouraged an interchange of works between British and foreign exhibitors, with the result that the productions of certain French, Austrian and American photographers are perfectly familiar in Great Britain. This, in the year 1900, led to a very remarkable cult calling itself " The New American School," which had a powerful influence on contemporaries in Great Britain. of luminousness to over-dark shadows and variety to blank whites. The almost forgotten process of Pouncy, and of Poitevin, now known as the gum bichromate process, was rehabilitated in 1894 by M. Rouille Ladeveze expressly to meet the needs of the pictorial worker. Perhaps the best results that have been achieved by it are those of M. Robert Demachy of Paris, though many English workers have used it with remarkable success. In it paper of any kind may be selected as the support. The power of the operator to modify the printed image to almost any extent, even to introducing and eliminating lights and shadows, and in other ways to depart widely from the image given by the negative, depends upon the fact that the coating of gum and pigment (which, being bichromatized, becomes insoluble in proportion as it is acted upon by light) holds the pigment but imperfectly, and yields it up upon a vigorous application of water. According, therefore, to its application or retention, the operator can lighten or deepen in tone any portion. Numberless variations of other methods, such as brush development and local toning or stopping, have been suggested with the same object. Other workers have shown that by dexterously shutting off and admitting the light to various parts of the negative whilst printing, the disposition of the lights and shades in the print can be modified to so great an extent as to alter the general contour of the scene. Examples of an original unaltered print, and one which has been thus modified, are shown in the accompanying plate. Portions are shaded in by allowing the light to have access to the print, either through the negative—in which case the image with all its details, prints more deeply—or by removing the negative, when the action of the light is to flatten and suppress both detail and contrast. Latterly some few have resorted to extensive working on the negative, both on the back and on the film; drawing by hand is practised on the film to render too prominent features less obtrusive, and objects in the background are merged by an intricacy of lines and cross-hatching. Many of the results are very pleasing, although one hesitates to justify the means, however good the end. On the other hand, to exclaim for purity of method and the exclusion of extraneous aids is very like setting up an arbitrary standard no less unreasonable than those conventions against which pictorial photography has so long striven. (A. H. H.)
End of Article: PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTING
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