WE have always maintained that it is just as much, if not more, fun to process your own pictures as to snap them. However, we realize that there are many amateurs who haven’t got the inclination, time, space, or money to invest in a darkroom. These amateurs place their photographic destinies without reserve in the hands of the photo finisher.
HERE is a digest of a chapter from the famous photographic illustrator's book on color. Directed at the amateur, it treats the subject in a new, general manner that gives a sound basic idea of color composition and lighting for color photography.
I AM sure that every one of you has long cherished an ambition to make paper prints in color. Probably some of you have watched a professional making them with one medium or another. If you have dreamed of buying all the expensive equipment he used, and you are waiting for your ship to come in to realize this dream, your waiting is over.
A NUMBER of complications are likely to arise in photographing the moon together with a landscape. As the moon doesn’t emit sufficient light to illuminate the landscape, two exposures are necessary; the first a time exposure of the surrounding objects, the second a shot of the moon with the camera remaining in the same fixed position.
THE first spiders’ webs I ever saw with the conscious eyes of an acquisitive photographer were hung with dew drops along beautiful Gunflint Trail in northeastern Minnesota. Since I had only a folding Kodak with a lens speed of ƒ 7.7 and no tripod, I just stood and looked dumbly at the patterned symmetry of those hanging water pearls trembling in the early morning light.
With the advent of television a new field will open for enterprising cameramen. The profession's requirements are set forth here.
THE remarkable resemblance of television to photography is apparent to most of us. The resemblance, however, goes even deeper than appears on the surface, particularly in regard to the cameramen who operate television cameras. Since the advent of television is not far in the future, a glance at the requirements for television cameramen seems in order.
Simplicity is the keynote of successful lighting. Learn to use one or two lights well, rather than many lights ineffectively.
DONALD J. MOHLER
WHEN the amateur photographer turns his attention to portraiture, one of the most important problems that confronts him is the proper control of lighting. Without a sound, basic understanding of the subject he is bound to founder in a welter of errors and will undoubtedly have only mediocre results to reward him for his earnest effort.
ONE of the first requirements for good pictures is that your camera be held absolutely motionless. A great variety of ways in which your camera can be steadied is illustrated and described in this helpful article.
THE slightest movement of a camera during exposure (even a fast exposure) will kill the finest definition of the sharpest cutting lens in the highest priced camera. The smaller the film the greater the need for absolute lack of motion. Excluding the users of the extremely fast and expensive lenses, there are many occasions when the average amateur will require an exposure longer than the conventional snapshot of 1/50 or 1/25 second.
FILTERS, exposure meters, etc., are best carried in a box or pouch in a coat pocket. In fishing-tackle stores one may buy, for 50 cents, a sturdy aluminum box 4 x 8 x 1½", cover hinged, fitting friction-tight, and with four compartments, two or all to be removed if not wanted.
GEOGRAPHICALLY minded camera fans can make an attractive album or photo-map by printing representative scenes of each state through a mask that has the outline of the state. At the present time I am making a photographic book of states. Expecting to travel quite extensively in the future, I hit upon the idea of taking a picture representative of each state entered.
The author achieved striking effects photographing electric signs by making several exposures on a single film.
MAURICE BAER COOK
FLASHING electric signs have always intrigued me with their photographic possibilities. Like most photographers, I have taken innumerable “straight” shots of them, and have always been on the lookout for odd arrangements. But while the store owners and advertisers are obliging enough to hang interesting signs in public places, they stop short at arranging them in intricate compositions for the benefit of photographers.
Though photomurals are mostly custom jobs for large studios, the amateur can also make them with little extra equipment.
ARTHUR E. CLASON
THE photomural, scarcely 12 years old, is a “frontier in photography” whose boundaries have been so far barely penetrated. It has opened up new worlds to nearly everyone — those who take pictures and those who like pictures. The technique of photomural production changes almost daily, and no two producers can follow exactly the same steps because of differences in their equipment.
John Hutchins entered photography as an amateur and became an outstanding salon contributor in just one year.
ROBERT W. BROWN
TO have a picture hung in the Annual Salon of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain is a signal honor. To have two pictures hung—and no purely pictorial photographer has ever had more than two pictures accepted—is a testimonial of extreme excellence.
You can make striking bas-relief prints from your favorite negatives with the simplest of darkroom equipment. The author presents a lucid description of the technique which can be easily mastered by any amateur.
MORRIS J. OLSCHWANG
YOU have undoubtedly noticed unusual photographs which look like bas-reliefs etched in metal or cut in stone. Commonplace pictures, when so treated, become immediately attractive and interesting. It is not difficult to make such prints yourself.
TOY TOWNS, little heaps of sand, and tubs full of water might suggest cities, deserts, lakes, and the sea more convincingly than the real things, if the “props” are photographed well and the real things not so well. There can be more glamour, mood, and pointed meaning in pictures shot in the comer of a movie shed, than those taken of the great city of Los Angeles, if the set designer and photographer of the miniature are first raters, but the one who snapped Los Angeles is mediocre.
Background design will often add considerable interest to a portrait. Some novel setups are shown on the next two pages.
THE background is a definite part of your photograph—a unit in the picture’s composition. For this reason it deserves considerably more attention than is usually given to it by the average amateur. And this is just as true in the case of indoor portraiture as it is in landscape photography.
The author tells how to choose a camera lens according to the purpose for which it is to be used, and explains in a simple manner the meaning of such lens terms as f-number, lens speed, focal length, and depth of field.
OWNERS of miniature cameras have often found it impossible to approach a distant object close enough to get a sufficiently large image on the film. Or perhaps the optical limitations of their camera lenses have not permitted the photography of small objects at close range.
EVEN on routine assignments press photographers frequently make pictures that are far removed from mere record shots and good enough for any pictorialist to be proud of. During the year 1938 these unrecognized pictorialists have been busier than ever.
The little known story of the evolution of the synchronized flashgun is related by the author who was instrumental in its development from a cameraman's dream into one of the most valuable camera accessories.
THE evolution of news photography has moved forward in direct proportion to the development and application of the flashgun. The greatest steps have been taken since the advent of the flashbulb in 1929. However, news photographers were making flashlight pictures for years before this by harnessing the light of explosive powder.
The well-known free-lance photographer complains of the complete anarchy of prices and practices in the picture market, and quotes concrete evidence.
J. W. McMANIGAL
SUPPOSE, when you buy your next camera, you tell the salesman, “This camera will have quite minor use; in fact I want to use it only for a few inside shots on our wedding anniversary, so instead of the $150 you ask for it, I will instruct our accounting department to send you a check for six dollars, which we consider quite good pay under the circumstances.
Never refused by any salon, this high key print of rare beauty was reproduced in the 1938 Catalogue of the Royal Photographic Society—a high recognition for photographer John Hutchins, a mere "beginner" in photography, whose story appears on page 24 of this issue.
Widely different techniques were used by Bernhard Benson of Great Neck, L. I., to picture the semi-silhouetted trio of gulls and by K. Guther in his closeup of a bird in flight, yet both succeeded in packing their pictures with drama.
Good studies of the male body are rare. H. M. Weis of Pensacola, Fla., caught his "Stevedore" with a candid shot from the hip, while S. K. Koparkar of Poona, India, carefully oiled the bronzed body of his "Boatman" to capture more light.
Few men can shoot a movie scene so realistically that you're unaware it's just a picture. This story tells how Freund does it.
A NUMBER of years ago a young European university student purchased a small still camera. As a direct result of that purchase the career of one of the world’s most brilliant cinematographers began. The student who purchased the camera was Karl Freund.
Anyone can construct a home movie theater at little expense. It will add much to the effectiveness of your films and to the comfort of your audience.
ORMAL I. SPRUNGMAN
RECENTLY I sat in a large audience which had gathered to witness the screening of color travel films made by the official photographer for one of the steamship lines. The lecturer gave his introductory remarks, and the lights were dimmed. The projectionist clicked the motor switch, but the carefully threaded footage ran off in reverse.
In which the author gives some helpful camera hints to a young friend who is about to take photography seriously.
JOHN B. DILWORTH
DEAR Bernice: You write that you expressed to your boy friend an interest in photography, and he has given you a box camera which cost less than $5.00. You wonder if you should give it away and get a Whosis like mine. The answer is—don’t! Take fifty rolls of pictures with your little box camera, or as many as necessary until you can get six out of eight good negatives on every roll you use.
if you cover a small developing tank with a larger and deeper tank, you exclude all light and therefore can turn on your darkroom lights and go about other work. —one of the reasons why many camera fans prefer stainless steel or metal trays and tanks is because they can be placed on a heater for bringing solutions up to temperature in cold weather.
Here's a device that will do double duty in the darkroom. While it looks professional, it is not at all difficult to build.
REUBEN A. STONE
EVERY camera enthusiast needs a good contact printer, and often wishes that he had an enlarger so he could blow up the good ones. Here is a home-made printer with enlarger attached which I built for less than $3.00. It is easily converted from one use to the other in 30 seconds.
MOST beginners and many advanced photographers with new cameras waste a large amount of film finding out how they focus. A simpler, more inexpensive way is to remove the back of the camera and thread a piece of waxed or tracing paper in the spools, making sure that it is stretched tautly and occupies exactly the same plane the emulsion side of the film (the one towards the lens) would.
In order to properly protect your color transparencies against scratches, fingerprints and dust, they should be mounted immediately after development. The method of performing the process is graphically illustrated and described herewith.
AN old alarm clock, two dry-cells, pilot light bulb and socket (radio), switch, and wire will be all that is needed to make a flash timer for use with tank development. Panchromatic film is processed in absolute darkness. Therefore time and temperature constitute the two means of determining finished development.
ONE may often want a glossy print in a hurry. In case he has no electric dryer here is a method that works very satisfactorily. Secure a tin can, any size depending on the size of the print, and remove the paper label. Wash the can clean with soap and water and polish the tin with a regular waxing solution or floor wax.
BECAUSE Uncle Sam makes “pictorial histories” of the growth and development of experimental cattle and swine, several of the most curious camera stands are now in use. One is a wooden platform perched 30 feet above the ground, accessible only by ladder.
CONTACT prints can be diffused as well as can enlargements. Simply place a sheet of clean glass between the negative and the printing paper and print as usual. The thickness of the glass determines the amount of diffusion.— Lester Robinson, Connellsville, Pa.
The camera is becoming increasingly important in law enforcement, since pictures may now be admitted as evidence in court.
WALTER E. MAIR
FOR the amateur who can ‘take it,’ there is probably no more fascinating field in still photography than that of violent death,” commented Roy L. Crabtree, Chief Deputy Coroner of Multnomah County, Oregon, of which Portland is the county seat.
1. Development of your film and prints actually stops when they: Are removed from the developer. Are immersed in short stop bath. Have been in the hypo 5 minutes. Have been in the hypo 10 minutes. 2. The Pola-screen is widely used in commercial photography.
POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, 608 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Ill. Pet Picture Contest open to all amateurs. See page 57 of January issue for rules. Closing date, February 1st. RADIO NEWS, 60S S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Ill. Cash prize contest involving pictures of radio apparatus.
OFTEN the brittleness of a print becomes objectionable and it is desired to make it more flexible and less liable to crack, as well as to overcome its tendency to curl. The print may be treated, after the final wash, with a softening solution composed of 1 part of glycerine to from 5 to 10 parts of water, depending upon the brittlenesss of the paper and the results desired.
C. E. Z., Philadelphia, Pa.—Your attempt to get a pleasing, informal outdoor portrait was marred somewhat by the unfortunate lighting conditions which prevailed in the exact location in which the subject was seated. Portraits taken in the shade frequently come out nicely if the subdued light is even.
L. F. De W., Boston, Mass. How soon may I safely take my 35mm negatives out of the hypo when processing has been done in a daylight tank with frequent agitation? ANSWER : Several excellent amateur workmen of our acquaintance fix their negatives for only about 8 minutes under conditions similar to those you mention.
Mr. Jordan has referred to me your letter of December 9th with regard to the current rumor about our color print plans. We are spending considerable time and money on research in the color print field and believe that there are several interesting developments capable of reaching the commercial stage in the near future.
BY mounting ordinary screen-door hooks near the top of your tripod as shown, a practical brace is provided to keep the legs from slipping on a smooth surface. Hooks of all sizes are available, so it is only a matter of personal judgment as to the size and where they are placed.
DESIGNED for home use. visual education, and sales demonstration purposes, the new Leitz VIII-C 100-watt projector measures only 6¼ x6¼ x3", not including lens. It is made of plastic and metal and may be used for projecting either 2x2" glass slides or 35 mm. film strips.
EVERYONE who makes his own gloss prints has at sometime experienced the desire to ferrotype them in a hurry. Perhaps you have made a batch of pictures and for one of several reasons would like to dry them in a few minutes. Instead, you have to wait several hours or even all night for them to dry.
THE mailbag indicates that many readers are experiencing difficulty with some phase of the ferrotyping process, or making of glossy prints. Accordingly, we present herewith a brief, step-by-step description of a ferrotyping procedure which has proven satisfactory to many amateurs.
THE life of a publicity photographer is often envied by aspiring free-lance cameramen. A glimpse on the other side of the fence is given by Arthur C. Allen, of Chicago, who sent in the accompanying two pictures as proof that all is not milk and honey in the business of posing and making publicity pictures.
The 100th anniversary of photography was celebrated on Jan. 3 by the camera clubs in Baltimore, Md. Previously, the Baltimore Camera Club had sponsored an “all Baltimore” show, in which were hung prints illustrating photography's application to pictorial, news, natural history, portrait, and miscellaneous subjects.
AS further evidence of the important part photography may play in fostering esprit de corps within large business organizations, the First Foto Fans camera club recently was founded by employees of the First National Bank of Chicago. Veterans as well as newcomers in point of service are numbered among the enthusiastic membership of about 75 persons, of whom nearly one quarter are women.
A PICTURE is often more interesting if you know the date on which it was taken. Of course it is not always necessary to know the date of every snapshot, but it is nice to know when a certain one of young Johnny was made, or when those of the beach party, picnic, or some other event were taken.
John Hutchins’ striking picture, Judith, was taken in his own studio with an 8x10 Century view camera and 10" Zeiss Tessar lens. Lighting for high key effect was obtained by the use of a 1000-watt flood. 500watt spotlight, and two 500-watt backlights.
EVER since I’ve had my filmpack camera, pinholes have been the bane of my photographic existence. Every known method was tried to prevent these dis-figurations from raising their ugly heads in my negatives. The developer and fixer were strained through porous filters.
NON-HALATION BACK. A dye coating on the back of film which prevents reflection and consequent scattering of light which has passed through the film. This coating dissolves during development. NOODLES. See Worms. NORMAL. In optics, an imaginary line perpendicular to the surface of the reflecting or refracting medium if that surface is plane.
THE Shinola Polisher which may be purchased at any dime store is an ideal gadget for putting a high shine on ferrotype tins. The woolly surface leaves no lint and its felt backing makes scratching impossible regardless of the amount of pressure used.
THE EIGHTH ART: A LIFE OF COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY, by Victor Keppler. Published by William Morrow & Co., Inc. Cloth bound (acid-proof), 12½ x 9½, 270 pages, illustrated, 31 full pages in full color; 1st Edition autographed, $10.00; numbered copy (1st 1,000) $12.50.
IN addition to the new ratings published last month (page 97) the following film speed values have been determined: These values become official on publication of the next regular issue of the Weston film speed chart.
TO prevent glossy prints from curling, dilute any well-known wave-set with a little water, and spread a thin coating on the back of the print. This serves to counteract the contraction of the emulsion side of the paper, and holds it stiff and straight.
FILM winders for loading 35 mm film in the darkroom come at all prices, but the one shown in the photograph has served well and cost only 50 cents, 25 cents for the hand drill, and 25 cents for the small bench vice, both purchased in the five and ten cent store.
YOU don’t have to cut the borders off your prints and cement them onto 16 x 20 mounts in order to exhibit them at club meetings or salons. You can make a temporary mount which can be used over and over again, at the same time leaving your prints intact.
WHEN the usually recommended hydrochloric acid is not available at the time a graduate or other glass measure needs cleaning, make a trip to the kitchen for the vinegar bottle and a tablespoonful of Dutch Cleanser and you will have a cleaner which is both quick and effective.
IF YOU use sensitive panchromatic film in your camera, and if your camera is not fitted with a window cover, you have experienced the annoyance of using tape over the window. After using this tape for some time, with its many drawbacks, I decided to build a safety cover that would be foolproof.
BORDERS ranging in tone from light grey to black can be made with an enlarger by a very simple method. With the masking done in the enlarger, the negative is projected onto the easel so as to cover an area about one-half the paper size. Cut a piece of heavy black paper to cover and extend over the projected image from ¼" to ½” on all sides.