EVEN though there is another month to go before we can present to you the big 1942 Directory of photographic equipment, we have been working on it for weeks, and it has preoccupied us to such an extent that we feel we should mention it ahead of anything else.
J. R., Brooklyn, N. Y. After my film is developed and washed, would there be any effect on my negatives if I would run the roll through denatured alcohol to hasten the drying process? My films are not miniature. ANSWER: YOU can use alcohol to speed negative drying without worrying about results, if you have fixed your films in a fresh solution which contains a hardener.
Dear Sir: As a member of that great photographic fraternity, the "Railroad Photographers," I would like to warn the rest of the good brothers that the railroads have put guards around the yards, shops, and roundhouses . . . To attempt to get most types of railroad pictures now is to flirt with jail.
The war duties of civilians are dramatized in this fine OEM Defense Photo. The lone watcher stands as a symbol against a background of night sky and darkened buildings typical of conditions found in a blackout. (For Technical Data see page 74)
All striking war pictures are not made in battle. Cameramen of the OEM cover the home front in dramatic shots to bring out the important part the civilian plays in our war effort.
JOHN B. EARLE
WHAT can I do to aid defense? This question is being answered for millions of civilians through the dramatic pictures turned out by a little staff of crack cameramen and editors in Washington, D. C. They are the members of the Photographic Unit of the Office for Emergency Management’s Division of Information.
This famous illustration photographer began by taking still lifes. Here he shows you how to start the same way.
ANYONE can make a lively, attractive picture of a smiling girl. To make an equally arresting picture of a bowl of spinach—that proves you are a photographer. If you want to learn to make good pictures, you must begin with still life. If you are already a good photographer, the study of still life will make you a better one.
Yes, America censors war pictures— but not to keep the public ignorant like the axis nations. Photographs are withheld here only to suppress information of value to the enemy.
THE army and navy, working in close cooperation with press and newsreel picture agencies, have set out to cover this war more completely than any conflict in history. A careful system of censorship has been set up to make certain that published photographs do not unwittingly reveal military information of value to the enemy.
You can put novel frames into your pictures by shooting them through tubes of cardboard.
YOU by shooting can get unique your pictures framing through effects tubes of paper. Portraits taken in this manner have unusual border designs which seem to radiate from the subjects themselves. The tubes are fashioned by making rolls of some patterned material such as corrugated paper, wire mesh, or cardboard.
Spectacular fire pictures are rare, but you can get them. Here are tips that will help you get good shots of blazes, day or night.
WHEN you hear a fire truck clang through the streets and come to a stop in your neighborhood, get out your camera. There may be a chance for unusual pictures. Eye-stopping fire pictures are much rarer than they should be, and when you get a chance to take them you should make the most of it.
Shadows and color values can be used effectively in avoiding the flatness so often seen in amateur color work. An expert outlines his methods here.
ANY photographers who consistently turn out really fine work in black-and-white fall down when it comes to color. I don’t mean that their exposures for color are way off. Many of them get the truest rendition of color values you’d want to see in their Kodachromes and color prints.
Plan your pictures of people in advance, and use common sense in posing them. Composition is employment of good taste and judgment, says this well-known photographer.
ANY picture is improved by being composed properly, and portraits are no exception. Portrait composition need not present weighty problems. Many photographers seem afraid to approach the subject, because of nightmares about S-curves, triangles, L-shapes, and unassorted rhythms.
This simple household item can be put to many practical uses in the darkroom and also can help in picture taking.
THE many photographic uses you can find for a reflecting-type electric heater make one of these units well worth its moderate cost. Such a heater will keep you comfortable in a chilly darkroom, and can be used to dry prints, negatives, developing equipment, and moist hands.
Picture possibilities abound where horsemen exercise their mounts. You will find subjects ranging from action and scenics to humor.
ONE of the most picturesque of all sports, horseback riding is a natural photographic subject. Whether or not you ever rode a horse in your life, you can take advantage of the abundant picture material to be found around the nation’s bridle paths.
Take your old cameras to market. They’re worth more than ever in trade. Or you can get cash and put it into interest-bearing defense bonds.
THE good old trading post is with us again. Due to the shrinkage in production of equipment and materials, the oldtime spirit of barter and trade has come back stronger than ever, and today’s photographers and photographic dealers are the traders.
For a good copy, just put a sheet of the right type of sensitized paper over your original and expose it through the back.
FRANK J. FIASCHETTI
YOU can make copies of all sorts of printed matter and illustrations, quickly and inexpensively, with little or no more equipment than you probably have right now. All you need, in addition to ordinary trays, developer, and hypo, is a pair of glass sheets as large as the biggest original you want to copy, and a supply of reflex copying paper.
Here’s how you can make striking pictures of those black-and-whites you wish you had in color. Tone them to duplicate the hues of the original setting.
YOU like natural can make color pictures prints, from that your look own black-and-white photographs. Many of the full color reproductions you see in magazines are not made with a color camera, but are the result of color toning black-and-white prints.
HUMANS and animals share the same relish for good food and drink, and there are many ways of bringing it out with the camera. The eyes tell a big part of the story in these fine pictures, lifted in thanks or turned downward in concentration on eating.
MODEL making is but one of the many hobbies offering fine picture material. Any pastime that keeps your subject absorbed makes it easy to get shots that appear unposed, even if they are carefully worked out in advance.
BOTH people and animals are inquisitive. You can take advantage of their curiosity to get humorous pictures. Samuel Grierson, Brooklyn, N. Y.; found good subject matter in a crowd absorbed in watching seals; Eugenio Moreno of Havana, Cuba, photographed the dog.
EVERYONE likes to look at pictures of natural oddities. Photographs like these are easy to take, once you find the right subject matter. Keep an eye open for unusual things, and bring out features that make them interesting.
EFFECTIVE pictures that are hard to get in real life can be faked convincingly by double printing. Nicholas Morant made this "aerial shot" by photographing a toy plane on a white background and printing it with a sky negative.
You can pep up your home movies by using good main titles to start them off right and a few explanatory subtitles to maintain interest.
Ormal I. Sprungman
FIRST Make titles impressions that do are justice important. to your best home movie films, and you can be sure that they will get a good reception. If a subject is worth filming at all, it is worth a good main title and a few subtitles where they are needed to keep the story moving and hold interest.
THERE are a few errors which almost every beginner in photography makes. Advanced amateurs sometimes commit them in unguarded moments, too. These pictures illustrate the most common mistakes and show how to avoid them: Blur due to movement of the subject is the result of shooting at too slow a shutter speed.
Of value to anyone making enlargements, this built-in unit can be constructed for less than a dollar.
ONE of the handiest and most-used darkroom accessories is a paper-box or drawer built right into the baseboard of your enlarger. A device of this kind takes up no space whatsoever on bench or table, and it can save you many a bitter experience with fogged enlarging paper.
This darkroom accessory is easy to make from ordinary radio parts. It will help you avoid exposure errors in contact printing and enlarging.
H. E. ELSEN
WITH only the simplest of shop tools, the average photographer can build an electronic timer that will prove a valuable addition to the darkroom. It is general knowledge that the quality of contact prints and enlargements is dependent largely on accurate exposure during the printing process.
MANY authorities agree that films should be agitated for several seconds at approximately 2-minute intervals during development in order to insure uniform development and avoid streaks. The face of a photo timer like that shown in the accompanying photo can easily be marked with small pieces of cellulose tape cut to a pointed shape.
J.S., Chicago, Ill—As you probably realized after printing this picture, its greatest fault is the distracting background. You have done a good job with the foreground, catching interesting detail to bring out the texture of the wood and rope, but the buildings spoil the effect.
THE war moves on at an accelerated pace—and the news photographer is there to record its rapid movements. From the Far East comes news of the thrilling experiences of Frank E. Noel, veteran Associated Press photographer, whose India-bound ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean.
AN UNUSUALLY wide viewing window, permitting the use of both eyes when inspecting a transparency, is a feature of the new Copeland Super-Viewer for all 2×2" Kodachrome and black - and - white films. No groundglass is incorporated in the new device, which produces a magnified image of Increased clarity.
SERVICE men who want to continue the hobby of photography while in training can pay their expenses by taking pictures of their fellow soldiers. I always carry a camera with me, and get interesting shots of my buddies at work. Every soldier is glad to buy these pictures to send home.
IF you’re taking travel movies of your vacation trip and bemoan the fact that you can’t get head-on scenes from the cowcatcher of your train, try this substitute stunt. By holding the camera upside down, take movies from the rear platform of the train showing the scene receding from the camera.
THE amateur can learn a lot by watching Hollywood productions to see how professional cameramen get the effects they want. If you are looking for some tips on taking movies, these are the pictures of the month for you to see. Kings ROW is not only the finest movie I have seen in the first six weeks of 1942, but also the most interesting job photographically.
BOMBING OF PEARL HARBOR and BURNING OF S.S. NORMANDIE. 8 and 16mm, and 16mm sound. Released through Castle Films, Inc., 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York: City. Previously withheld by the U. S. Navy, the graphic scenes taken during the surprise attack of December 7 are of tremendous significance
We have been asked by three groups to publish their requests for salon exchanges. Eaeh has its own show either on the road or ready to go, and bookings should be made as soon as possible. The West Allis Photographic Society has a 25-print salon prepared for traveling, and would like to exchange prints with other clubs.
MOST flashbulbs are designed for low-voltage operation, and are apt to explode when fired by the full voltage of the household or studio line current. In handling some studio jobs I have occasion to use flashbulbs in the house line, so I had to devise a way of preventing the possibility of explosion.
YOU can make interesting flower pictures without exposing any film. By placing blossoms in the negative holder of your enlarger you can make direct prints from them on the easel. I made this discovery by accident, but have used it to get many unusual pictures since.
THERE are many different things you can do to get unusual results in making up your pictures. If you enjoy doing art work, you can turn them into pen-and-ink sketches. The procedure is easy. First, you make up an ordinary black-and-white print, by contact or enlargement.
This picture by Howard R. Hollem, member of the Photographic Unit, Office for Emergency Management, was taken with a 4×5 Speed Graphic and 5½" Zeiss Tessar ƒ 4.5 lens. The shot was made in late afternoon, the rays of the setting sun providing illumination for the skyline.
SOME cameras, particularly miniatures, are equipped with only one tripod screw socket, and therefore can be used normally in only one position on a tripod. Thus, if your tripod head doesn't swing over to vertical position there's no way of taking vertical shots.
THE users of dry-mounting tissues are advised by the manufacturers to keep the temperature of the mounting iron within certain limits, and it is true that really satisfactory work requires the application of heat within a fairly narrow temperature range.
MANY popular enlargers, especially those handling the larger sizes of sheet film, are equipped with negative holders which incorporate two plates of glass. This means that each time a negative is inserted in the holder or removed from it you have to lift the top glass with your finger-nail or turn the holder upside down.
OCCASIONALLY you will run into a photographic setup in which you want to take pictures both in color and black-and-white. By rigging up two cameras in tandem you Can solve this problem easily, and get both pictures on the same bulb in flash work.
PRACTICALLY any ordinary enlarger can be adapted for use as a copying stand with the aid of a sheet of plywood, a short length of pine, and a ¼" stove bolt. The enlarger itself does not have to be changed in any way—it just needs to be the type in which the negative carrier slides in from the front or side.
WHEN using cameras with shallow tripod sockets on large tripods, invariably the tripod screw extending above the top is so long that the camera does not seat down solidly. By placing three pennies in a triangular position around the tripod screw, and fastening the camera down over them, this difficulty is quickly remedied.
ONE way you can improve your chances of selling photos to newspapers and picture syndicates is to submit such a neat bundle of goods that the editor will be impressed by your thoroughness. A good print, even if the event it portrays has little news significance, has a much better chance of bringing a check if it is accompanied by well-written caption material.
SOONER or later, every photographer is bitten by the mural bug. It seems as though the smaller the camera, the larger the picture has to be. Here is a practical suggestion for making grainless murals from 35mm transparencies. You can get perfect enlargements of almost any size if you start with a Kodachrome and make an enlarged negative from it.
To center a photograph properly on its mount is practically a job for a mathematician, unless the shortcut illustrated and described here is followed. Assuming that equal margins are desired at top and sides, a narrow strip of paper should be laid on the mount with the print and torn so as to equal the difference in width between the photograph and the mount.
MOST people who use Speed Graphics and other two-shutter cameras of the same general type know that it is necessary to insert the dark-slide before winding the focal-plane shutter, in order to prevent fogging of the film. This practice is not objectionable in ordinary picture taking, but when you are taking action pictures, particularly of the sequence type, it takes too much time.
CLEANING slide glasses by means of holding them with one hand and polishing them with the other is apt to leave fingerprints near the edges of the glass. Or if you hold the glass by the edges it's difficult to clean the surface all the way to the edges.
THE daylight developing tank I use for processing my 9 × 12 cm sheet film and flimpacks came equipped with an outlet consisting of a small piece of pipe and a cap to cover the latter. This arrangement was satisfactory, but I installed an improvement which I find somewhat more convenient.
PHOTOGRAPHY—ITS SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, by John R. Roebuck and Henry C. Staehle. Published by D. Appleton-Century Co. Cloth bound, 5¾×8½, 284 pages, illustrated, $5.00. This book surveys the modern science of photography as it is understood today.
TO PROVIDE variable sidelighting, a clamp-on reflector should be fastened to the edge of a partly opened door. By opening or closing the door further, the angle and intensity of the light can be changed to suit the subject. In the same manner, lights clamped to the top of the door form an overhead "boom" to achieve dramatic effects.
AN outstanding collection of 100 prints from among prize-winners in the 1941 POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY Picture Contest has been chosen to make up the Third Annual Traveling Exhibit. Plan to see these pictures when they are displayed near your home on their annual tour.
CHANGES in lighting arrangements can be made more easily by using an extension cord which has been equipped with one or more outlet blocks of the type illustrated. These can be placed at convenient points along the cord, and will accommodate lighting units which ordinarily would have to be plugged into wall outlets.
THE KALART COMPANY, INC., 915 Broadway, Now York, N. Y., announces its Fifth Annual Speed Flash Contest. Awards total $750 in photographic merchandise. First prize is an Anniversary Speed Graphic equipped with Kalart rangefinder, Master Automatic Speed Flash, and Sistogun.
WHEN using an extended camera bellows in photographing or copying small objects, the exposure must be increased as the bellows are racked out. This is because the distance from lens to film is increased. Also the relative aperture of the lens is changed, rendering the aperture markings ineffective.
Some Definitions—The Densitometer—The Characteristic Curve—Reading the Curve—Gamma—The Comparison Scale—Film Speed Ratings
HERBERT C. McKAY F.R.P.S
SENSITOMETRY is a study of the mathematical relationship which exists between exposure and the density of the developed image. It can be, and is, applied to the study of both negative and positive images on transparent and opaque materials.
Imagine a chart which lists all the possible faults of your negatives in order of handling—before exposure, during exposure, in development, after development! Imagine a key to negative faults which tells you not only how to find them but also the cause!