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Will be mailed about September i, 1919,
The Attractive New
will be featured in this issue, together with several new Persian Velumet and Velumet offerings. The catalog will also show those items of established prestige which have been retained from the preceding year.
Constant and judicious use of Collins Mountings will help you to increase your business and get better prices for your work.
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Despite the oft-repeated assertion that "a well-appointed studio, with an easily controlled light, is merely a refinement in practice, and that it is within the power of the artist to manipulate any sort of illumination," it must be conceded, at least, that a scientifically arranged scheme for lighting offers less impediment in securing a desired effect. In other words, ordinary home lighting is within the capability of studio illumination, to say nothing of the variety of effects impossible, or next to impossible, with lighting such as is had in an ordinary living room, and this is because, not only on account of the peculiar features of the studio source of light, but also by reason of the character of the selected light to meet the particular purpose in view. This last feature, only, we shall confine our attention to. We all know the interest the professional photographer takes in selection of the glazing for his studio. How he is often in a dilemma, not knowing from the conflicting opinions in advice given him what kind of glass to employ.
Some will tell him to use nothing but plain glass and not to cut off the full force of illumination by matt surface glass, that
it is more advisable, when softening of the light is required, to have recourse to translucent curtains; so there is a division of opinion between the virtues of plain glass and ground-surface glass.
Some years ago, a well-known glass firm in Pennsylvania undertook to determine by careful experimentation the character of glass best suited to diffuse the light, without unduly lessening its intensity. They came to the conclusion that simple ribbed glass in true curves, having a certain number of ribs (20) to the square inch, gave most satisfactory results. This conclusion met with considerable opposition (theoretically) from photographers, and an effort was made by a distinguished professional of Boston to demonstrate the falsity of the manufacturer's assertion, but what was his surprise to discover that practically a studio glazed with ribbed glass of this description increased the illuminating power in comparison with plain glass. That is, the diffused light, being more uniformly distributed, shortened the time of exposure.
It is an established fact that a harmoniously lighted head; that is, one in which there is relativity of tone from high light to deep shadow, requires less timing than a contrasting subject. In the illumination with this ribbed glass it was found that at the skylight itself and upon the floor of the room that the light was not as intense as where plain glass glazing prevailed, but there was a compensation on the side walls and back in the studio.
We know that the light entering our studio comes from the sky, and hence must have a downward direction to reach the glass, varying with the time of day and position of the frame. Hence, in plain glazing, or where open windows are utilized, the floor near the window gets the maximum illumination, but where disper
sion is had recourse to, the light spreads, iilling with almost equal intensity the entire room. The ribbing should be inside to prevent accumulation of dust. We see a goodly number of home portraits, and the effect is generally pleasing and more attractive by reason of its naturalness, and preferable at all times to bizarre studio effects, but while there are many examples that are excellent and praiseworthy, there are some which palpably show the limitations under which the photographer worked —impediments which would not have obtruded had the same effect been tried under a well-appointed studio illumination.
I wonder why those photographers who combine enlargement work with their other regular photographic business do not have recourse to making enlarged negatives and printing the enlarged copy directly therefrom, instead of copying from a small negative. When one counts the expense of artistic work demanded by a first-class enlargement to make it acceptable to the patron, the labor bestowed upon a large negative is not much more expensive, and the results obtained are far more desirable; then, if a number of copies are required, as in copying paintings or engravings, the cost is greatly less.
Make a transparency the full size required, either by collodion or with gelatine plate; perhaps gelatine is preferable here. All the artistic work can be done on this positive and it may be made much better than the original. A hard negative can be made soft and harmonious and a too-flat one may be given pluck and vigor.
Suppose you want to make a vignetted head, say, from a cabinet. Wipe off all retouching completely and set up the negative in the frame, and make the enlargement in the camera up to the desired size. Sharp focus, intensely sharp, is demanded; give full exposure, and develop with a
be covered except the highest lights; and you will be delighted with a positive rich in gradations from the highest light to the deepest shadow. If it should need any intensification or a slight reduction, let it be done now. When washed and dried it is ready for the retouching. You can see better in this enlarged form where to apply the artistic work in deepening the shadows, in giving a touch of decision here and there or scratching out a too dense spot, and, being a positive, you have before your eye the exact appearance of the picture, with its correct lights and shades, as it appears in the original picture; not the reverse, as in a negative, which might confuse even an expert at times. You see exactly a counterfeit presentment of the original. Now, having the improved, enlarged negative, all that is necessary is to make a negative therefrom. I prefer making the negative in the camera, as thereby the retouching on the positive is not discernible, as it might be if made by contact. Focus to the size you desire, but do not focus too sharply this time—this is to prevent prominence to the retouching; I do not mean to get 'way out of focus, like the fuzzy school. A very slight turn of the focusing screw will obliterate all the touches of the pencil without
C. H. CLAUDY
"From my card system of patrons I select one dozen names every day, and have the receptionist telephone those one dozen people," says a photographer who uses his head. "The conversation runs something like this, varied, of course, according to what the customer says. 'Good morning, Mrs. Brown. This is Miss Smith, speaking for Mr. Jones, the photographer. I have just been looking over last year's records, and I find the proofs of those pictures Mr. Jones made of you—I was particularly impressed with the panel. And I wanted to tell you about our enlargements—they cost only so-and-so-much each and they make perfectly stunning wall pictures or presents. That panel would enlarge beautifully to about nine by fifteen inches'—and so on and so forth until the girl is interrupted by a question or the sale is made.
"Out of that dozen calls I average from one to two enlargements a day. Telephone calls cost me slightly more than three cents. The girl's time is worth about forty cents an hour and the twelve calls take about an hour. It costs me, therefore, about seventyfive cents to get this order or half as much if there are two of them in a day. The price is made to include the extra cost. But the advertising thus gained doesn't cost any.hing."
"Best thing I use the 'phone for is to collect bills—outside, of course, of its normal business use," writes a big city portrait man. "I find that it is often hard to see a difficult payer personally, but there is seldom any great trouble getting him on the 'phone. People will drop their most important business to answer a telephone. As eight out of ten overdue accounts are so from neglect rather than from any intention to avoid payment, a pleasant little telephone chat usually brings the money. It costs a great deal less to use the 'phone than to employ a collector, and is productive of none of the disagreeable results which
a collector sometimes causes. It takes much less time, and it seldom or never makes the debtor 'sore.'"
"The telephone is better as a 'follow up' than a letter, in my opinion," says the manager of a photographic business, which is large enough to occupy a whole building and have half a hundred people on its staff. "We have tried follow-up letters on nearcustomers who for some reason or other have never made an appointment, and particularly on those customers who have a sitting, are dissatisfied with results, and yet won't take the trouble to come again. Such almost-customers represent a very vital something to the business, in our opinion. A customer who isn't satisfied with her sitting is a distinct liability—much more a liability than is a satisfied customer an asset, because one who talks against you does you more harm than one who talks for you does you good. In such cases we find the telephone a very persuasive instrument. Its use lacks the formality of a personal call which might seem 'too anxious,' and it has far more force than the personal letter, for two reasons. One is that it permits the talker to express regret at unsatisfactory work, not only by what she says, but the way she says it, and the other, it gets some sort of an answer right away. People will fail to answer letters they are not particularly interested in, but they won't refuse to answer speech.
"We never run our prospect very hard with the telephone—whether we call her once, twice or three times depends very largely on what she has said the first time and the judgment of the girl who does the telephoning. Yes, we find it much better to have a girl do it than a man—she does it better and more sympathetically, and if she is bright and clever, she succeeds in her calls three-fourths of the time."
"To remind sitters of their appointments is the principal use we make of the telephone," says a country town photographer. "A great many of our patrons live at considerable distance from the studio. They will either come in, call up or write for an appointment for some day next week, when they expect to drive or motor into town. We don't take any chances, either of their forgetting they have that appointment when they get in town, or of putting off the trip without telling us. Such calls are made the evening before, and are merely friendly reminders, such as 'Good evening, Mrs. Farmer. I just wanted to tell you that we haven't forgotten you are coming to us to have a sitting tomorrow at eleven—we are all ready for yon. Can you tell us whether you will wear a hat or not?' or some equally innocuous question. That brings out the information as to whether or not she is coming tomorrow at eleven or at six o'clock the week after next. This isn't a big studio, but it is everlastingly busy and we have use for every hour, so that knowing that our distant appointees will keep their dates is a great help."
"I have a public 'phone in my waiting room, in a booth," says a metropolitan photographer. "On either side of it is a small picture, one of a man, the other of a girl. Between them is a sign, 'Little Photographs Make Graceful Presents. Style XIX, like these, are but $1.50 each, by the halfdozen.'
"And you'd be surprised how many people—mostly women—use that 'phone and come out and ask for some 'Style XIX' pictures. I don't attempt to explain the psychology of it—whether a person telephoning is unusually receptive to suggestion or what it is—I know only how the scheme works."
There are a hundred and one ways to use a telephone besides waiting to have someone call you up over it. These are just a few. But if others find in the bell-ringing-interrupter-of-thought a means of increasing business, may you not, also, make it a real asset to your business?
The photographer frequently is called upon to copy an old daguerreotype, and the operation is found to present no special difficulty if the original is free of stain, beyond that of avoiding reflection, which may be readily overcome by placing a piece of black velvet at the bottom of the daguerreotype. But when the original is covered with a film, which is generally the case, the copying presents insuperable difficulties and, indeed, nothing can be effected until this film is removed.
Various plans have been suggested. The one generally employed is a very weak solution of potassium cyanide. But while admitting the efficacy of this method, we believe it is attended with too much risk. Indeed, we have seen daguerreotypes hopelessly ruined by its application. The following method is most effectual and at the same time perfectly safe. All one needs to do is to follow directions carefully. Remove with care the metallic plate, avoiding the least touch of the surface with the fingers. Take hold of one corner with a pair of pliers. Then take some pure undiluted hydrochloric acid, perfectly free from nitric (this freedom is absolutely essential), and pour it over the surface of the daguerreotype, draining off at the opposite corner. The effect is almost instantaneous, the image coming bright and clean. Now wash off gently under the tap and finally with a little distilled water, and drain off. Now prepare to dry. A spirit lamp or Bunsen burner must be used. Hold the plate horizontally and slightly heat one corner, then raise the plate vertically at some litile distance from the flame and the film will dry evenly.
When you are through carefully seal the daguerreotype again. We say this because we have found the want of the exercise of this decency to the owner of the plate the cause of subsequent ruin of the picture.