THE contest is over and we’re glad and proud to have conducted it. Naturally, we are referring to the big annual POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY Picture Contest which was held for the second time this year and closed September 1st. Once again we were—and are— flooded with photographs of all descriptions.
T.B.Y., Dallas, Tex. Please tell me the hyperfocal distance of my 2" lens when stopped down to t 22. ANSWER: This will depend upon the diameter of the circle or disk of confusion on which your particular lens was calculated. Assuming it to be 1/1000 of the focal length of the lens (1/500" in this instance), the hyperfocal distance at ƒ 22 would be 8 feet.
In your June issue, page 12, you published a photograph of a lion pulling down a zebra over the following caption: "Hiding behind an ant hill in South Africa, Frederick Sedley Kramer of Kansas City, Mo., focused to snap a grazing zebra. Just as he released the shutter, he saw a brown streak hit the zebra's back.
A clear-cut idea and the photographic ability to put it across are all that you need to take good pictures. Photographer Powell of Pasadena, Calif., has used here every device to make the lollypop appear bigger. [For Technical Data see page 76]
I HAVE read that the most-photographed persons in the world are President Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. That may be true. But it is certain that the most completely camera-documented persons in the world are the Dionne Quintuplets.
Good film is easy to buy, but it's hard to make. Here's how big factories keep an army of photographers in ammunition.
DR. WALTER CLARK
DID you ever wonder how film is made? Scores of different raw materials go into the film that you use in your camera. To give good results under all sorts of conditions, they must be selected and put together in just the right way. Although this task is a hard one, the manufacturers do their job so well that most of us just take film for granted.
THERE are all kinds of dances, and each one presents interesting action subjects for your camera. Dancing feet, posturing bodies, swirling skirts, flashing legs, rhythm, grace—there is little more you could ask in the way of good picture material.
You don't have to wait for rain to take striking reflection pictures. Here's a trick you can use to get them any time. All you need is a small mirror or sheet of clear glass, held below the camera lens. A wire frame can be rigged up easily to support the mirror in the right position.
Famous for portraits that reflect the character of the subject, the author tells why this picture satisfies him completely.
AMONG the thousands of pictures I have taken during my photographic career, "Seventy Years" has been received most favorably. It has impressed many people as a "work of art," as a 'character study," and, among other things, as a "splendid pictorial" photograph.
We'd like to see the photographic Christmas and New Year cards you'll make this year. POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY'S editors will pay $5 for each of the ten best sent in before January 5, 1941. We'll publish a list of winners in the March, 1941 issue of the magazine, awards being made to the creators of the cards.
MOST amateurs have one trouble in common. They feel that fancy equipment, the latest thing in developers, and an impressive store of catch-phrases all are essential to the making of good pictures. It isn’t true. If you’re willing to practice taking pictures, you can turn out good work.
ENLARGING means not only bigger pictures but better pictures. This statement was made last month and it cannot be emphasized too strongly. The variable factors which enter into making an enlarged print allow you to make the most of the good points of a negative and to correct its bad features.
IF you’re looking for something different in picture subjects, take your camera to the movies. Hollywood’s top-ranking actors and actresses will pose for you, in settings designed and lighted by the experts of filmdom. Dramatic news events will take place before your lens, just as they were seen by ace newsreel cameramen on the spot.
YOU can make copies that are better than the original prints. While copying usually is considered only as a means of making faithful reproductions, it will enable you to make crisp, sharp copies of originals that are stained, faded, or lacking in contrast.
YOU can improve your portraits by negative retouching. Film materials and lighting often accentuate the less-becoming features of a subject. Lines, wrinkles, and skin blemishes appear more prominent in photographs than they do in real life.
THE first rule of good journalism— tell who, what, when, and where —has its counterpart in photography. From years of experience, I have learned the importance of recording who or what is in a picture, when and where it was taken, and under what circumstances.
MANY different steps in farming make good pictures. Each can become symbolic of the entire process. William R. Crick of Independence, Mo., photographed a field of ripening grain; John Vachon pictured the tall elevators which will hold it when the harvest is over.
PICTURES of some subjects look better when printed in either light tones or dark tones, instead of in full scale from black to white. "Mingo the White" by Martin Munkácsi is a fine example of high-key work, while William Carlson's "Waiting" is a good low-key picture.
HEART'S delight of every American youngster, trains are equally fascinating to the photographer. But his pictures will be interesting only if he gets a new angle on his subject, expressing its power and its beauty.
You 'RE almost sure to get interesting pictures when children, soap, and water are placed before the camera. Both of the shots on this page are noteworthy for the effective use of lighting. Can you tell which was made by means of artificial light?
PRINTING from two negatives, one of them solarized, George Platt Lynes of New York, N. Y., got this unusual picture. The negatives were shifted slightly out of register to create an effect similar to a bas-relief.
TRADE magazines offer you a wideopen market for your pictures (or “pix” as editors call them). These publications have difficulty in getting good illustrations. If you can supply them with what they want, you have a steady market that is good the year ’round.
NO face is exactly alike on both sides. Professional portrait photographers are especially aware of this fact. The success of a portrait man depends considerably upon his ability to analyze a face quickly and select camera position, lighting, and pose so as to accentuate the best combination of his subject’s features.
HALLOWE’EN, with its spooks and witches and its children’s parties, makes an ideal occasion for the filming of a family photoplaylet. The eerie nature of the occasion affords opportunities for using a variety of “magical” movie tricks which while mystifying on the screen, are simple enough to be done with any camera.
THERE is nothing quite as boring as an unedited reel of amateur movies. It is a hodge-podge of unrelated scenes that flash on the screen with lightning rapidity or drag interminably to an inconclusive ending. Just a little work in editing the film will turn it into a reel that you will be proud to show your friends and which will give them pleasure—to say nothing of the increased enjoyment you will get from them.
HERE’S a home-made easel that will do double duty in your darkroom. Its adjustable margins will put neat borders on your pictures, and its light-tight compartment will keep your paper near at hand and safe from fog. You can build this handy accessory with ordinary tools, using inexpensive materials that are obtained easily at your local lumber yard and hardware store.
WHILE looking about for a suitable background for use in photographing my small son, I came across the idea of using the side of an automobile. The result, as shown in the accompanying photo, was a plain black background which gave a studio appearance to this outdoor shot.
The service rendered on this page is free to our readers. Send your prints with technical data to POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, 608 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, III. We regret that we cannot criticize prints by mail. Send self-addressed and stamped envelope for return.
ALL-METAL construction is one of tire features embodied in the new Ciro-Flex twin-lens reflex camera, which takes 12 pictures on a roll of 120 or R-2 film. The taking letrs of the camera is an 83 nun Wollensak f 3.5 Velostigmat, the viewing lens being an f 3.2 anastigmat.
IF you are a builder of model airplanes, you can get double enjoyment out of that hobby by combining it with photography. By using your camera to make a set of pictures of your models, you can develop an interesting record of your work. More than that, if you photograph them in scale with a natural scene as background, you can produce vivid pictures that make them look like the real thing.
WORKING on a nature feature recently, I had occasion to get some closeups of birds and other wild life, and the telephoto assembly illustrated and described here was the result. As is apparent from the pictures, the assembly consists essentially of a wooden unit in which one box (in which a lens is mounted) telescopes within a larger box.
IN shooting single frames for animation, titling, etc., it is important that you know the approximate exposure time your camera gives when the single-frame device is being used. This is especially significant in the case of Kodachrome, since improper exposure can be compensated to some degree with monochrome film.
SOME second-hand radio equipment, one or two record turntables, and a little work with a hammer and saw are all that is necessary to transform any available room in the house into an acceptable movie projection “hall.
THE instruction booklet that comes with your camera outlines the few steps necessary to keep it in shape to give good service. It is a wise precaution to check on these points every few months. Two precautions, however, should be observed every time the camera is used. First, make certain that the lens is clean before you start shooting. Dust particles and finger marks will make your .pictures less sharp, and may do lasting damage if they are allowed to remain on the lens over a long period. Second, whenever you take out an exposed roll of film, be sure that the film gate is clean and free from bits of emulsion which may cause vertical scratches on the film. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in cleaning both these important parts of your camera. and you can be sure it will be ready to go whenever you want to take pictures.—fes
IN cases where you have used both color and black-and-white film in covering a subject and you come to the job of editing the assortment into one or two reels, save the color sequences for the last. Once an audience has been treated to color in a film subject the reversion to monochrome can be very disappointing.
ORDINARILY it takes years of active darkroom experience for a photographer to know the answers to these questions. Only after months of costly, time-consuming, trial-and-error experiments does he begin to develop the sense of judgment and the instinctive timing that mark the work of a top-notch darkroom technician.
MOST photographers agree that to include the human figure, or at least a part of it, in many types of pictures will increase their interest and salability. This is especially true of nature shots, in spite of the fact that this branch of photography is sometimes considered as beyond this requirement.
DOES your home have a photographic housing problem? The average house or apartment is built without thought of darkroom arrangements, and the amateur who wants to do his own developing often has a hard time finding a place to work. Here are some tips from Collier's “House of Ideas” at Rockefeller Home Center in New York City.
This appealing picture by Sali Powell, Pasadena, Calif., was made with a 3¼x4¼ Model B Graflex camera and 6⅜" Kodak Anastigmat f 4.5 lens. It was taken in daylight, and the exposure was 1/100 second at f 11 on Agfa Superpan Press film. PAGE 39—CENTAUR
OCCASIONALLY the photographer finds himself with a considerable quantity of old negatives which are of no further use. Or it may be that there is a supply of long-outdated negative material on hand. The latter is apt to produce disappointments if used for taking pictures, and it becomes a problem to dispose of it in any gainful way.
Quick and Economical Way to Make Small Enlargements
Gilbert D. Williams
USING my small reflex camera for making portraits of friends and family, I frequently have occasion to print up slightly enlarged proofs as quickly and as easily as possible. The method described here works very nicely for this purpose, and can be used just as effectively for making duplicate enlargements from a single negative.
I HAVE found it advisable to keep several layer of cleansing tissue on my darkroom table between the hypo and the wash water when I’m printing. I had previously used old cloth towels, but these became stained and hypo-laden, necessitating frequent washing.
NOT being very proficient in the retouching of glossy prints, I was stuck recently when I had to spot some glossy and semi-glossy portraits. Having tried a number of things, I experimented with some negative-retouching medium on the prints, and was able to spot them with pencil very easily.
A GREAT many amateurs use glue to fasten small prints in their albums, and in many instances the procedure becomes a messy one. I find that the use of inexpensive pipe cleaners is advantageous. Simply make a right-angle bend in one end of the cleaner, using this end for spreading the glue on the back of the print. After use, the glue-soaked end of the pipe cleaner is snipped off with a pair of scissors and the balance used again.
IN most box cameras the actual lens is recessed rather deeply and consequently is difficult to clean because of its inaccessibility. This difficulty can be overcome as follows. Glue a bit of cotton or lens tissue onto the cup end of a wooden or composition golf tee.
OCCASIONALLY, in bottling solutions, the amateur photographer finds himself without any corks. With this in mind it’s a good plan to save the ends of candles and use them as bottlestoppers when the need arises. The wax can be melted slightly before the candle is pushed down into the bottle-neck, and a portion of the protruding end can be melted to form an airtight seal.
WHEN making time exposures with a small camera which is not fastened to a tripod, great care must be exercised not to jar the camera when opening or closing the shutter. A simple way to avoid any chance of doing this is to use your hat as a lens cap as shown in the photo.
AN 8 x 10” contact printing frame is useful for making several contact prints at once or for making 8 x 10” paper negatives and prints therefrom. But one of these frames can also be converted to use as a retouching stand without in any way impairing its use for printing.
IF you happen to be processing film or paper in some locality where for any reason the water runs quite cold you’re apt to encounter some difficulty in bringing your working solutions up to the proper temperature. Various means of heating the bottled solutions, placing heating pads under the trays, etc., have been devised, but there’s considerable trouble attached to most of these methods.
A comprehensive text on the subject of photographic exposure outdoors and under artificial illumination. It explains the various factors that determine exposure and tells how to overcome difficulties and solve “tricky” problems. Methods and apparatus are illustrated with helpful diagrams, and a section of the book is devoted to curves and tables for general reference.
OCCASIONALLY a weight belonging to a set used with scales gets lost, and the weighing of formula components then becomes a problem. A great many things can be used as substitute weights. One of the best of these alternatives is lead shot, or BB shot, as it is sometimes called.
YOUTH IN FOCUS is a national competition being conducted jointly by the American Youth Congress and Friday magazine Prizes totaling $1,550 are offered. It is open to young people who have not reached the age of 20 years by Nov. 30, 19 10. Prints (preferably 5 x 7) may be submitted in seven classifications under each of the general groupings Urban Pictures and Rural Pictures The classifications are: Youth and Work; Youth at Play; Youth at School: Youth at Home; Youth and Marriage; Youth and Religion ; Youth—the Citizen.
WHEN the rack-and-pinion assembly on your plate-back or view camera becomes stiff and difficult to operate, your initial impulse is to lubricate it with oil. If you’ve ever done this you’ve probably found that after a few days the mechanism operates harder than ever.
RECENTLY I had occasion to remove rust spots from several photographs, the negatives of which were not available for making new prints. I am not certain as to how the spots got onto the prints originally, but assume that they resulted from rust in a washing tank or tray or from flaws on a ferrotype tin.
Personal Christmas Tags Made from Scraps of Print Paper
MANY photographers occasionally find themselves with a collection of narrow strips of sensitized paper, which have been trimmed from larger sheets in cutting the latter to a certain size. Usually these are discarded, since they are apt to be too small for satisfactory use as test strips.
ON two occasions I have found that it certainly pays to have some obvious means of identification attached firmly to your photographic equipment. For a matter of 25c or less you can purchase a leather identification tag, in which is a card protected by a sheet of transparent celluloid.