THE year 1939 is an important date in the history of photography. Hundred years ago both Daguerre and Talbot published for the first time their photographic inventions. Both inventors were farsighted men who envisaged much of the future development of photography, but none of them could have possibly anticipated the tremendous popularity photography enjoys today.
ON January 7, 1839, the French Academy of Sciences heard a report on a method of “fixing the camera’s image.” Arago, the scientist who later became famous for his work on the polarization of light, told how Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre had discovered “in collaboration with his late friend, M. Niepce,” a substance extremely sensitive to light, and had applied this to picture-making.
GONE are the days when amateur photographers put their cameras away for the winter months. Oh yes, there was a time—not so long ago, either—when most cameras were relegated to the uppermost shelf in the closet, together with other seldom-used bits of odds and ends as soon as October or November came around. Photography then was considered purely an outdoor summer activity.
AMONG an infinite number of photographic subjects, there are few that strike the human fancy more than household pets. The little beasts have a trick of worming their way into our affections. Because of this, almost anyone, regardless of how photographic minded he might be, stops and exclaims over a good dog or cat picture.
MORE and more camera enthusiasts are finding new and interesting subjects for their lenses on the stages of dramatic productions and musical shows. The opportunity to photograph well known stars, glamorous settings, and famous plays is tempting bait to those who live where such productions are given.
A COMPACT and practical filing system for negatives of the 2¼ x 2¼ size can be made at a very small cost. First obtain a notebook of the looseleaf type, the pages of which are 6 by 9½ inches or thereabout. r The envelopes which hold the negatives are ordinary letter envelopes of standard size.
WHEN Douglas Corrigan came to my home town, Indianapolis, my camera provided me with my first big opportunity for picture sales and made me aware of another possible market I had not thought of previously. I had made several salable photographs before, one of which appeared on page 58 of the August issue of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY.
THE delayed action feature, now built into certain shutters, is used primarily when a photographer wishes to include himself in the picture, and no one else is present to trip the shutter. But it may be employed in other useful ways that increase the flexibility of the camera.
HOW TO MAKE SEPARATION NEGATIVES FROM COLOR TRANSPARENCIES
IF you are not satisfied with looking at color transparencies; if your idea of a color photograph is a color print on paper, there is no reason why you should hesitate to make color prints from your color transparencies. Color prints, of course, are always made from a set of color separation negatives.
PHOTOGRAPHY in natural color is no longer restricted to the professional. Many amateurs are producing creditable color prints from color separation negatives by one of the popular processes now available. Some, however, refrain from experimenting in this fascinating field because they are under the false impression that special and elaborate equipment is required for the making of the separation negatives.
"WHEN we presented our eleven-year-old son, Bill, with a Leica camera Christmas, 1937, people criticized us, saying, ‘You must be insane, giving a child an expensive camera to amuse himself with for a few weeks.’” So writes Mrs. W. H. Allen, Fort Smith, Ark., in answer to an inquiry regarding her son’s unusual photographic ability.
EVERYBODY who has ever made photography a serious study must have given some thought to retouching. To most of these, however, the art of negative retouching is so surrounded with mystery that they probably consider it far beyond their abilities.
YOU run across him everywhere—in Alaska, in Mexico, in Bali, in Lapland. Often as not he is the center of a gaping crowd. He amazes the natives, worries the local police, delights small boys. At the mere mention of his name, the world’s customs inspectors begin frothing at the mouth.
THERE are portraits and portraits. Offhand I can think of three categories: First, portraits which are made to please the sitter, his relatives, and his friends. Therefore, they are supposed to show the subject at his best, or at least what he thinks to be his best.
LIKE lighting and makeup, the matter of dress is a problem which often confronts both the amateur and the professional photographer. Whether his feminine subject will make a judicious choice of garment for her sitting need cause him no concern.
THE average college campus abounds in money-making picture possibilities. Any student with fair equipment, a knowledge of photography, and a certain amount of originality and initiative will find that his hobby can be made to pay a good share or all of his college expenses with a minimum of effort and time, when compared to other methods.
THOUSANDS of amateur photographers throughout the country who attend exhibition salons often wonder how one goes about having prints hung in these sacred portals. Many a budding pictorialist would gladly give a year of his life to have his name in an exhibition catalog and his print hung among those of Thorek, Alenius, de Csörgeö, and others.
Leisure, luxury, and sunshine are the theme of this picture photographer Kerlee made for the All Year Club of Southern California. What started out as a routine advertising illustration became in his hands an interesting composition of brilliant sparkle and interesting detail.
No other single object has been photographed more frequently for salons than the wagon wheel. The spokes radiating from an axle fascinated Edward Canby of Dayton, O., while photographer Samuel Grierson of Brooklyn, N. Y., detected the same motif in a less conventional subject—the ribs of an umbrella
By special arrangement with the publishers, we present a selection of outstanding photographs from the book "U. S. Camera 1939." The photographs appearing on this and the following four pages are representative of the many outstanding examples of present-day photography shown in this new volume.
As if to please photographers seeking unusual contrast, these skaters wear black against the white of snow and ice. Photographer Meer=kamper of Davos, Switzerland, exposed for highlight detail, silhouetting his figures with dramatic effect.
I HAVE always been curious to know why it is that so many amateurs seem to consider the home processing of their 8mm. or 16mm. films an impossible feat, a mystery hidden deeply behind the portals of the big laboratories. The still camera amateur develops and prints his own pictures to his great joy and satisfaction.
A NEW color photo-print technique has been introduced recently to the field of amateur and professional photography. This new process has impressed the trained technician in color work with its fidelity of natural coloration and has also provided the unskilled color enthusiast with a simple, accurate and inexpensive opportunity to express his artistry and creative talents in true color photography without requiring previous skill or technique.
THE technical and scientific field is one of the most lucrative for the free-lance photographer. This is particularly true if the free-lancer cannot spend many hours in any one day with his camera. Here the woods are full of game. A careful hunter can flush a check within an hour.
THE amateur photographer who does much work indoors will appreciate these directions for easily constructing an inexpensive lamp stand for use with clamp-on reflectors. The type of stand to be described has the advantage of being fully adjustable to almost any position of the light, from the floor to within a few feet of the ceiling.
A VERY effective lens cap for use on lenses up to 1¼ inches in diameter can be made at no cost. Simply take the top of the aluminum can in which 35 mm. film is sold and bend the opposite sides together just enough to make it hold securely. Scraps of velvet or plush can be cut to size and glued inside the lid for further protection.
ONE of the greatest problems of those who have to do their darkroom work in the kitchen or bathroom is that of making the room light-tight. The usual window covering succeeds not only in eliminating light but also air, and the room soon attains the stuffiness and temperature of an Egyptian tomb.
SOME solutions, such as 28% acetic acid, have to be made over and over again, measuring out the ingredients (glacial acetic acid and water) every time in a graduate. The work can easily be simplified by running a long strip of adhesive tape down the whole length of a bottle and marking off on this strip the point to which the glacial acetic acid must come, and another point to which the water must be added to get the desired 28% mixture.
IN NEARLY every modern family in the country today there is a camera. Despite the fact that other photographic endeavors of the family may suffer from neglect, there is generally one branch of the subject that is religiously maintained, and that is the pictures for the baby book.
IF, AS the experts say, the camera does not lie, there are times when it can distort the truth. The picture accompanying this article is not a reproduction of an old print or tintype. Nor were there any photographic tricks used in its making. It is, as a matter of fact, a still of a miniature movie set.
HERE’S a new contest that every amateur should be able to enter. For there is hardly an amateur who, at one time or other, would not have photographed his pets or the pets of his friends. Entry requirements are simple. You need not send new pictures, taken specifically for this contest.
WILLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT WAS BORN FEBRUARY 11. 1800 - THE FAMILY OF TALBOTS RANKED AMONG THE OLDEST FAMILIES IN ENGLAND - HE WAS EDUCATED AT HARROW AND CAMBRIDGE-AND FOR TWO YEARS HE WAS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENTIN 1035 HE DECIDED TO QUIT POLITICS AND DEVOTE THE REST OF HIS LIFE TO SCIENCE
TO the uninitiated, hypersensitization for increasing film speeds sounds formidable and many prefer to steer clear of it. In reality it is a simple process. There are two methods commonly used at present—mercury and ammonia. Of the two, ammonia is the least effective.
C L. C., San Antonio, Tex.—Good sharp focus, excellent exposure, and a rather pleasing flat portrait lighting are the main attributes of this informal portrait. The portrait from the mouth downward leaves something to be desired, since the chin lacks sufficient perspective because of close cropping.
A. W., Monroe, Mich. At a recent exhibit my attention was called to some prints which had been waxed. What is the purpose of this treatment? ANSWER: Waxing tends to give a slight lustre to a print made on rough or matte paper which it would not otherwise have. Frequently waxing will increase brilliance in the highlights of a print or richness in the blacks.
In answer to your letter as to whether there is any method of fixing the AbrasionTone prints, there is no need of this if the abrasion is done properly and as perdirections; which means that the powder is to be used with economy. If the powder is impregnated into Defender Velour Black I paper as per directions printed in your magazine, even the hand brushed over the surface of the print will not show any trace of the powder.
WHEN preparing a large quantity of developer or fixing solution the average amateur’s balance scale is too delicate to serve for the heavier weights encountered, so the writer cast about to find some inexpensive scale that would serve the purpose.
OUTSTANDING features which characterize the Argus Model C2 are the calibrated. built-in, split-image range finder and the 50 mm. “Cintar" f 3.5 Anastigmat lens. The range finder enables one to focus and make the exposure without lowering the camera from the eye.
The splendid photograph by Charles Kerlee was taken at Palm Springs, California. He used a 4 x 5 Series D Ora flex camera and Steinheil Cassar f 3.5 lens. The exposure was 1/50 second at f 18 on Agfa Superpan film. This series of snow pictures by Ray Atkeson is an exceptionally fine selection of winter shots.
Employees of the Interior Department in Washington who are interested in photography have a wide-awake organization known as the Interior Department Recreation Association Camera Club. This group is initiating a course in photography which is open to any I.D.R.A. member, and it will not be surprising if other similar groups of Federal employees launch camera study and discussion groups of this type.
MULTIPLE PRINTING. In the GUM BICHROMATE PROCESS, a single application of gum and pigment with subsequent exposure and development will not give a print, of sufficient depth. Hence the process is repeated a number of times, care being taken to register the print each time.
ON dry winter days most of the photographer's darkroom apparatus becomes charged with static electricity. In enlarging or printing, the glass which lies next to the negative only too often attracts many dust particles to its surface.
TAKE in one hand a decorator’s yardstick—36 inches; in the other a child's foot-rule—12 inches. Run the foot-rule up and down the yardstick. The ]2 inches of its length will coincide with any 12 inches of your choice on the yardstick, but at no time will you be able to include in that length both the extreme ends of the longer measure.
TO make a neat job of weighing out your chemicals use paper crinkle cups of the type sold by any five and ten as a container for cup cakes. These are available in various sizes and colors at an average cost of ten for one cent. The size illustrated will hold up to three ounces of chemical, yet the cup itself weighs only ten grains.
AN ordinary coffee can may easily and quickly be converted into an efficient washer for miniature films. Punch, or preferably drill, at least 3 dozen 1/16” diameter holes in the bottom of the can. Cut 3 strips ½" wide by 1¼ long from a tin can and bend them at right angles to form the legs.
USERS of miniature film who spool their own from a large roll, often have difficulty in measuring the proper length of bulk film. The standard unit of 35 mm. film is 36 exposures, and when allowance is made for waste at the ends, 5½-feet of film will give 36 negatives. Measuring an exact 5½-foot length in daylight is simple enough, but in the inky blackness of a darkroom it’s another matter.
DARK brown bottles are the best for storing photographic chemicals as they prevent the entrance of any light which may affect the solutions. Beer bottles work very well in this respect. A metal spring cap with rubber ring makes for a tight seal which is also important to prevent oxidation.
WHEN a small funnel is not at hand for pouring developing or fixing solutions from the tray into a bottle, form an old film negative into a cone and cement the seam with cellulose cement. This temporary device will make a very durable and satisfactory funnel, although it should not be used for more than one type of chemical solution without scraping the emulsion from the negative.
WHEN making short time and bulb exposures, with the camera mounted on a light tripod, the initial opening of the shutter is sometimes sufficient to cause a slight vibration of the equipment, even when using a cable release. This is especially true with focal plane shutters.
POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, 608 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Ill. See page 57 for details and rules of Pet Picture Contest. RADIO NEWS, 608 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Ill. Cash prize contest involving pictures of radio apparatus. For full details see the January issue of RADIO NEWS.
THE following film speed values have been determined since the latest Weston film speed sheet was published. These values do not become official until they appear in the next regular issue of the Weston film speed sheet.
PHOTOGRAPHY IS FUN, by Russell Doubleday. Published by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., New York. Cloth bound, 8 x 5½ 96 pages, illustrated, $1.50. An informal and practical guide for the amateur photographer showing how easy it is to take good pictures.