An orchid for your October 1959 article by John Durniak on Howell Conant. Well written, well illustrated, informative, and extremely interesting, it makes you want to meet the guy. Most articles on the wellknown pros are extremely superficial but this one gives an insight into Conant the man as well as Conant the photographer.
A darkroom is a room that is dark. This might sound like a quote from Gertrude Stein, but actually it is a definition of the minimum requirement for photographic processing. Your darkroom can be an elaborate affair, complete with air-conditioning and temperature control, or it can be a kitchen or a closet used occasionally for processing.
Lightweight tripods are convenient, but tend to shake and vibrate. Turn yours into a steady support by tying one end of a cord to the head of its camera bolt. Loop the other end, so that it hangs about two inches off the ground, then stretch the cord with your foot down to earth.
HAWAII IS A NATURAL SETTING FOR DAY OR NIGHT COLOR SHOTS
I doubt if there's any place else in the world where the elements do more for a man with a camera than Hawaii. Of course, it probably follows that those lovely islands do more for a man without a camera, too, but I shall leave the development of that thesis to a chronicler with a more universal assignment.
I am continually surprised to find that there are still people in photography who think there is something basically wrong with a square-format picture. Some buyers of twin-lens reflexes today think of the square frame as simply a convenient way to take both verticals and horizontals without turning the camera.
Are some photographers totally incapable of creative work? Is there a limit to individual potential on a creative level? The answer to both questions is a third, “Who is to tell?" The photographer must lie entirely lacking in self-esteem who would admit it about himself, and anyone else has no right to render a definitive verdict.
Unlike pure candid photography, glamor usually requires a certain amount of posing. In candid photography the object isn't primarily to flatter the person, but in glamor if you fail to flatter, the result is far from glamorous. For those who dislike the word “posing,” the term “directing” can be substituted.
Picture marketing has heen in my blood ever since the first picture I ever sold landed me in bankruptcy. I was 10 years old at the time. The camera was borrowed from my drummer uncle—the one who wore striped silk shirts and pearl gray spats. His $20 jewel had a bellows like an accordion, a lens like a bead, and a shutter that sounded like a ratchet.
Some lime ago you wrote that tungsten-type films used with a filter out-of-doors gave good results (... and better than outdoor film used indoors). Does this also apply to Type F films? And suppose you use a conversion filter and want to use a warming or cooling filter, too?
A question that has fascinated me for a good many years, and to which I have given much thought and study, is this: How does a photographer make his pictures more penetrating, less superficial? I must assume that the reader of this column knows the difference between a penetrating and a superficial photograph.
It's so easy, all too easy, for the nature photographer to hibernate during the winter months. The inevitable result: our delicate sense of timing, that catches wild life at the climax in action, deteriorates. To stay photographically trim, there's no better, nor more convenient, training ground than the zoo.
"Each of us has a role, a time, a place. Those who are most fortunate discover what it is." So writes Carl Mydans on the last page of his autobiographical More Than Meets the Eye. By this definition. Mydans is one of the happy few, having found all three at a relatively early stage in his career.
The trouble with Polaroid is that, like most miraculous inventions, it is too soon and too easily taken for granted. Once its novelty is accepted and understood, it is dismissed as a novice's toy or a life-saver for a few specialized applications.
This month, with all the other new columns soaring into orbit around POP PHOTO, I’d like to take a few lines to explain the kind of goings on you can expect to find here. (Then we'll get down to business.) In the first place, about the title of this column—frankly, it's something of a misnomer.
The big, bold NEW on this month's cover is our way of greeting the new decade. It seemed to us an excellent time to refurbish the premises, introduce some new features—not least among them a new $25,000 contest—and in general get ourselves in shape for what the economists say are going to be the fabulous '60's—a decade of rapid change, of fantastic growth, and of unprecedented prosperity.
introducing the new POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY $25,000 INTERNATIONAL PICTURE CONTEST
Prizes every month for 6 months Plus Big Grand Prizes in Color and Black-and-White
Prestige and Acclaim Acknowledged by Winners of Previous Contests
Twenty-five thousand dollars in Savings Bonds—$2,000 every month for six months, plus $11,000 in grand prizes; six trophies to top prizes, and plaques to the runners up—will be awarded in POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY’S new International Picture Contest, which gets under way with this issue.
Here are quick, convenient ways to use it for portraits, still lifes, group and candid portraits
HOME STUDIO AIDS
PORTRAITS AROUND THE HOUSE
Can you answer these questions about your home? 1. Which room in your house offers soft outdoor light for a portrait at noon? 2. How many floodlamps can be used in the living room without causing a 15-amp fuse to blow out? 3. What exposure is correct for using bounce flash for a candid shot in your living room with Tri-X film?
Other photographers may have had many memorable and exciting assignments, but when it comes to the one I'll never forget, only one story enters my mind—and that's the nightmarish coverage of a double cop killing and capture of the mentally deranged murderer in the summer of 1958.
Most 35-mm-equipped photographers use natural light a great deal and some are beginning to explore the enormous possibilities of simulated natural light, in the form of an exact bounce-flash technique. Bouneelight may be thought of as a counter-part to natural light because it offers the same consistently beautiful detail and modeling of features found in most natural light pictures, plus a bonus of higher possible shutter speeds and smaller lens openings and in addition well-lit backgrounds and subjects.
Unibath, a new combined developer and fixer, eliminates two printing steps
Last night I introduced my wife to Unibath CC-3, the one-solution developer, stop bath and fixer. The only directions I gave her were: 1 Mix one part Unibath to five parts water. 2 Pour the solution in a single tray and put a safe light over the tray.
The Fact Sheet (below) on 35.mm cameras is the first installment of the POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY REFERENCE SERIES. This Sheet plus the Enlarging Tech Section on page 111 are the start of an exciting new photographic series. Every month an installment will appear.
Kodak Startech permits focusing from as close as four inches
One of the newest innovations in the box camera field is the development of a close-up box camera that takes pictures from as close as four inches from the subject. The Kodak Startech camera was originally designed for oral photography (for use by dentists, doctors), but it can be used by the average amateur for photographing small objects to show good detail and texture.
These twin enemies of good prints must be fought every step of the way-from camera to finished picture
1 DUST-FREE NEGATIVE DRYING: Film should be dried in a spot where there is little dust and no air currents to carry the troublesome particles. A shower stall is usually a good place; tiles or smooth walls are easy to keep dust-free. Pull shower curtain to minimize drafts.
A good picture is a lesson in seeing. At least it can be if you look at it with a sympathetic and searching eye. This involves asking questions and trying to find answers. Why did the photographer make the picture? What is he trying to express or portray?
A look at technical developments in the last 12 months shows that photography today is vibrant and healthy
DR. WALTER CLARK
During the last year or so great progress has been made in practically all fields of photography. Look at the monthly or annual surveys of equipment and materials in the photographic magazines, search the advertisements, peruse the catalogs or reviews of the great international photographic fairs, and you will see that photography is vibrant, healthy, and progressive (after all, it is only ten years older than the last veteran of the Civil War).
Today's high-speed color films put available-light color within everybody's reach, and open new horizons for the amateur, as well as the pro
While available-light black-and-white photography still struggles for complete recognition among many of the amazed and the disbelievers, available-light color photography already has bounced forth as a reality. How did it happen that color, a medium which was confined to outdoor shooting in bright sunlight or indoors with flash and flood just a short time ago, is now used to take pictures in incredibly limited lighting situations?
Not too long ago the readers of this magazine were engrossed in articles about high-speed black-and-white films, and how available, ambient, existing light (which ever you choose to call it) was sufficient for exciting photography of the world around us.
Here are some typical examples of what’s being done in color today, under conditions that would have been considered impossible for color photography just a short time ago. All these pictures were shot without tripods or other camera support.
Pictures in this department were submitted by readers. POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY will pay $15 for each black-and-white and $25 for each color picture published. Only color will be returned. Complete technical data must accompany all pictures.
1 Stanley Paley, New York City. Here’s a charming composition with harmonious, muted color. It's possible to argue that it would he just as good in black-and-white, hut the flash of yellow on the blue-green water is enough to justify use of color film.
Guide to enlargers Focusing the enlarger Ground your enlarger The clean negative Planning a printing session Exposure Length of exposure Exposure time and magnification Print developers Fixers Exhaustion of chemicals Washing Safelights
Enlargers are classified according to their illumination systems—diffusion, condenser, and cold light. Each illumination system produces slightly different results, and you’ll find that you will have to adapt your working methods to the type of enlarger you expect to use.
Anyone who has ever made a print feels that focusing is such an obvious action that there can be no question about having that go wrong. Check these steps to see if you do it correctly: 1. Use a piece of paper in your easel. For critical work it is not enough to focus on the easel itself without a proper focusing paper.
One of the chief causes of dust clinging to condensers of an enlarger is static electricity. A clean negative placed in an enlarger loaded with static electricity will take on a charge and attract dust. This problem is especially troublesome in dry weather.
Spending a few minutes in making sure the negative is perfectly clean pays off in terms of saving hours of spotting the final print. An artist’s camel’s-hair brush is useful in removing dust before you put the negative in the carrier. Once the negative is in the carrier, I prefer to use an ear syringe to remove any small particles that remain.
Before you set up your darkroom for enlarging you should have a clear idea of what you expect to accomplish. Know which negatives you want to print and their approximate cropping. Don’t try to do too many in one session. Organize the negatives according to the contrast paper they’ll need.
Many photographers regard test strips purely as an economy measure, but actually they are much more. Even if you have unlimited supplies of enlarging paper, test strips will give you more information than the technique of wasting a dozen full sheets to make one acceptable print.
Thirty seconds is an ideal area for the length of enlarging exposure time. Shorter exposures: 1. Are difficult to control for burning-in, dodging, etc. 2. Emphasize slight timing errors. For instance, a 1-second error on a While they continue to reduce the importance of a small error, have other faults:
If you’ve ever had occasion to make enlargements of different sizes, you’ll appreciate the formula below for calculating approximate exposure times. To know the magnification to which you’re enlarging you’ll first have to calibrate your enlarger.
With so many prepared developers on the market, and innumerable print developer formulas listed in photographic reference books, the darkroom worker often wonders if any developer is “best” or if some secret formula he doesn’t know about will give him better prints.
The same fixers that are used for films can be used for paper. The purpose of the fixing bath is to dissolve the undeveloped and unexposed silver halide particles and to remove them from the paper. Usually a fixer with hardener is desirable to toughen the emulsion for washing and further handling of the print.
Developers, stop baths, and fixers all become exhausted with continued use and should be discarded as soon as they become suspect. It's poor economy to ruin expensive enlarging paper by trying to save exhausted solutions which cost very little to replace.
The purpose of washing is to remove the fixer. If the fixer were not removed it would continue to attack the photographic image in the same manner as over-fixing. Paper requires a longer washing time than films because the paper base tends to retain the fixer.
A safelight’s purpose is to help you see what you’re doing in the photo lab. Thus, the general principle of using one or more safelights is to make the lab as bright as possible and still have a light that is "safe.” In small darkrooms one safelight may be enough; if your enlarger is not too close to the developing table, a second safelight may be needed.
Papers are available in contrasts from No. 0 to No. 5. No. 2 is regarded as "normal” contrast. Most negatives should print well on No. 2. If a negative lacks contrast, you might use a No. 3, 4, or even 5, depending to what degree it lacks contrast.
One method of getting a really good black with variable-contrast papers and still main-taining printable detail in the dark areas is to give the print a very short exposure with the highest contrast filter and then proceed with the normal exposure.
Papers are manufactured in a series of contrasts essentially to correct faulty negatives and to produce "normal” prints from negatives that are too soft or too contrasty. Since photographers are creative people, they're not content to do just normal things. Very interesting and exciting photographs have been produced by photographers who have printed normal negatives on No. 5 paper. Often higher contrast washes out highlights or combines several dark tones into black, thus simplifying the composition of a picture by creating a posterish effect.
You should have an idea of how you expect to crop a print before you put the negative in the enlarger. Any white light spilling through the lens from uncovered areas surrounding the negative area that you're going to use may cause over-all fogging of paper resulting in flat, gray prints.
The simplest kind of multiple printing is the old problem of printing in clouds on a white sky. Two negatives are used, the basic shot and another negative for clouds. The usual procedure is to make a sketch on cardboard and to cut the cardboard into two parts each to be used as a mask.
Local areas that are slow in coming up can be given a helping hand by the use of concentrated developer. Another source to accomplish the same thing is hot water; still another is hot concentrated developer. All of these techniques will do wonders for bringing out detail in washed-out areas.
A convertible desk solves the space problem in an amateur's film work area
EQUIPMENT TO HAVE ON YOUR EDITING BENCH
EARL R. HARDESTY
Convenience is often the deciding factor on whether a film is edited or not. If it is convenient to start work, then work is started. A neat, ready-to-use editing bench makes the job of cutting a film seem like less work than working on a kitchen table and hauling boxes out of a closet.
There comes a time in the life of every writer, who is allegedly aiming his words at a particular audience, when he should try to decide, at least to his own satisfaction, just who that audience is. Having done this, he should then have the good manners to tell them he knows (or thinks he knows) who they are.
Here are six recently introduced viewers for the amateur —all priced below $100
the Kalart Co., Inc.
the Kalart Co., Inc.
THE CRAIG MODEL V-46
the Kalart Co., Inc.
THE ELGEET EDIVIEW
the Kalart Co., Inc.
THE MANSFIELD MONITOR
the Kalart Co., Inc.
MANSFIELD REPORTER, MODEL 650
the Kalart Co., Inc.
THE WALZ MOVIE EDITOR
the Kalart Co., Inc.
THE YASHICA EDITOR
THE CRAIG MODEL V-46 (16-mm) is the latest version of the Craig Pro-jecto-Editor, long a favorite of many 8-and 16-mm movie-makers. The big difference is its screen: 43/16 x 5¾ inches according to our measuring. It will be available in 16-mm only and is the only new editor to be available at less than $100 in this film size.
The zoom lens continues to zoom right ahead. Latest startling development: The Revere Camera Co. has readied an 8-mm electric eye camera boasting a motor-powered zoom lens. Touch one button and its f/1.8 lens zooms in for a close-up, touch another button and it goes back for a wide-angle view.
Compact single-piece and powerful standard units offered
Allied Impex Corp.
Allied Impex Corp.
GEORGE D. MARGOLIN
Two new units which point up the increasing miniaturization and efficiency of current electronic flash units are the Ultra-blitz Monojet, first single-piece European unit to reach our shores, and the Meteor II, an improved version of a highly successful earlier model.
Extra-quality sheet film offers speed, versatility
Rated at the new official Ansco E.I. of 100 daylight, 80 Tungsten (formerly ASA 50D and 40T), Ansco Versapan is the fastest “maximum quality” sheet film available to the American photographer today. Designed for the professional, it offers excellent gradation and enlargeability plus complete control of contrast, including high contrast for line copy work.
How would you like to wake up one morning to find that an excellent film of good gradation, latitude, sharpness, and grain has suddenly been changed on you? That’s just what has happened to a film that has been a mainstay of many photographers throughout the world, Ilford's FP3.
Ultrawide-angle automation is the claim of the newly revised Super Wide C by Victor Hasselblad AB of Goteborg, Sweden. Boasting the widest, undistorted coverage of any 2¼x2¼ camera (90 degrees), the “C” is an improved version of the previous Super Wide incorporating many of the same automatic features as the current single-lens reflex 500C.
The new Sawyer’s 500 is a semi-automatic projector, handling any 2x2 slide—35-mm, Bantam, or super—in cardboard, metal, glass, or plastic mounts, intermixed. It loads with trays of up to 36 slides, switches them with a pull-push lever. Almost any make plastic changer tray can be used; the one supplied with the machine opens on top, so that individual slides can be removed or inserted without interrupting the show.
IF YOUR FILM WON’T GIVE YOU ENOUGH DEFINITION—FAKE IT
It’s possible that someday there will be a film on the market with the grain and definition of Panatomic-X and the speed of Super Hypan, and when this is loaded into subminiature cassettes there will be a universal sigh of relief from the large group of available-light subminiaturists, who keep striving for ultra-candid candids with view-camera quality.
Can the Polaroid Wink-Light be used with regular film?
Can I use a color conversion filter for black-and-white?
How can you shoot movies under available light?
Why do prints lighten after development?
MORE GOOD QUESTIONS...
Does heat-absorbing glass alter enlarger contrast?
How can I identify roll-film negatives after developing?
Do you think the Polaroid Land Wink-Light would he useful for indoor photography with conventional fast black-and-white films? Ordinary electronic flash is too strong.—Norbert Bras, Quebec, P.Q., Canada ANSWER: That same question has popped into the minds of quite a few photographers who work with available light, but would like to fill in shadow areas to reduce contrast.