Part 2 out of 3
The directions given for its use are as follows:
Mix one-third of a bottle with a wine glass full of water,
coat the plate over dry iodine to a dark gold color, then over
the accelerator to a violet, then back over dry iodine,
or chloride of iodine, from three to five seconds.
Chloride of Bromine.--M. Bissou, a French experimentalist, has found that
bromine associated with chlorine, prepared in a similar manner to chloride
of iodine, already described, a solution of bromine being substituted
for the iodine, is a very sensitive solution; by means of it daguerreotype
proofs are obtained in half a second, and, thus very fugitive subjects
are represented, making it the very best compound for taking children.
So quick is its operation, that even persons or animals may be taken
in the act of walking.
Hungarian Liquid.--This, I believe, has never been used here, or imported
into this country, and the composition of it is not generally known,
even in Europe, where it has taken precedence of all others.
It acts quickly and with considerable certainty. It is used
by diluting it with from ten to fifteen times its bulk of water,
putting a sufficient quantity into the jar to cover the bottom.
The plate being previously iodized to a light yellow, is submitted
to this mixture till it assumes a light rose tint.
Bromine and Fluoric Acid, in combination, are used by some Daguerrean
artists as a sensitive, but any of the above compounds are better;
besides this, the fluoric acid is a dangerous poison, and the quick
made from it will not repay the risk to the health in using it.
As I have before said, great caution should be observed in examining
the color of the plate, even by the feeble light allowed,
which, when attained, must be immediately placed in the holder
belonging to the camera and covered with the dark slide.
You then pass to the
THIRD OPERATION.--Submitting the Plate to the action of Light in
the Camera.--Experience alone must guide the operator as to the time
the plate should be exposed to the influence of the light; this being
dependent on a variety of circumstances, as clearness of the atmosphere--
and here, a reference to the hygrometer will be of advantage--
time of day, object to be taken, and the degree of sensitiveness
imparted to the plate by the quickstuff. As I have before said,
the artist should be careful to see that the interior of the camera
is clean and free from dust, as the small particles flying about,
or set in motion by the sliding of the holder into the box,
attach themselves to the plate, and cause the little black spots,
by which an otherwise good picture is frequently spoiled.
Care should also be taken in withdrawing the dark slide, in front
of the plate, from the holder, as the same effect may be produced
by a too hasty movement. The lens is the last thing to be uncovered,
by withdrawing the cap c. fig. 5., which should not be done
until you have placed the sitter in the most desirable position.
When, according to the judgment and experience of the operator,
the plate has remained long enough to receive a good inpression,
the cap is replaced over the lens, and the dark slide over the plate,
which is then removed from the camera.
Daguerreotypists generally mark time by their watches, arriving at the nearest
possible period for producing a good picture by making several trials.
As a ready method of marking short intervals of time is, however, a very
important consideration, and as any instrument which will enable an artist
to arrive at the exact period, must be an improvement, and worthy of
universal adoption, I will here describe one invented by Mr. Constable
of England, which he calls a
Sand Clock, or Time Keeper.--"It consists of a glass tube,
about twelve inches long, by one in diameter, half filled
with fine sand, similar to that used for the ordinary
minute glasses, and, like them, it has a diaphram,
with a small hole in the centre through which the sand runs.
The tube is attached to a board which revolves on a centre pin;
on the side is a graduated scale, divided into half seconds;
the tube is also provided with a moveable index.
This instrument is attached, in a conspicuous place, to the wall.
The glass tube being revolved on its centre, the index is set
to the number of half seconds required, and the sand running down,
the required time is marked without the possibility of error.
In practice it will be found to be a far more convenient
instrument for the purpose than either a clock or a seconds watch,
and is applicable both for the camera and mercury box."
If the artist finds it desirable or necessary to take the object to be
copied in its right position, that is reverse the image on the spectrum,
he can do so by attaching a mirror (which may be had of Mr. Anthony,
or Mr. Roach) to the camera tube, at an angle of forty-five degrees.
If, after taking the plate from the camera, it be examined,
no picture will yet be visible, but this is brought about by the
FOURTH PROCESS.--Bringing out the Picture, or rendering it Visible.--
We now come to the use of the mercury bath, Fig. 11. To the bath
a thermometer is attached, to indicate the proper degree of beat required,
which should never be raised above 170 deg. Fahrenheit. The plate maybe
put into one of the frames (see Fig. 11,) over the mercury, face downwards,
and examined from time to time, by simply raising it with the fingers,
or a pair of plyers. This operation, as well as the others, should take
place in the dark closet.
Sometimes, to prevent the necessity of raising the plate,
an additional cover or top is made use of. It consists of a
box fitted closely to the inner rim of the bath, and having
an inclined top (a, Fig. 27.) The top is cut through and fitted
with frames for each size of plate, like those already described,
and in the back is a piece of glass (b,) through which to view
the progress of mercurialization, and an additional piece
(c,) on one side, colored yellow, to admit the light.
The outline only of the top is here given, in order to show
every portion of it at one view.
The picture, being fully developed, is now taken out and examined;
it must not, however, be exposed to too strong a light.
If any glaring defects be perceived, it is better not to proceed with it,
but place it on one side to be re-polished; if, on the contrary,
it appears perfect, you may advance to the
FIFTH OPERATION.--Fixing the Image so that the light can no longer act
upon it.--The following articles are required for this purpose:
Two or three porcelain or glass dishes, in form, something like fig. 24.
A plate support, fig. 25. Few, I believe, now make use of this,
although it is a very convenient article.
Hyposulphite of Soda,
A pair of Plyers.
In Europe, they also use a drying apparatus, Fig. 27, but this,
like the plate support,
is a matter of little consequence, and may be dispensed with.
I will, however, describe it, for the benefit of those who may wish
to use it.
A vessel made of copper or brass, tinned inside, and large enough
to take in the largest plate, but not more than half an inch wide,
is the most convenient. It must be kept perfectly clean.
Hot distilled water is poured into it, and the temperature kept
up by a spirit lamp.
Hyposulphite of Soda.--Having made a solution of hyposulphite
of soda, and well filtered it--the strength is immaterial;
about half an ounce of the salt to a pint of distilled water
is sufficient--pour it into one of the porcelain dishes,
put into another plain, and into a third distilled water.
Immerse the plate with its face downwards into the hyposulphite,
and the whole of the sensitive is removed, and the light has
no farther action upon it; it is then to be removed from
the hyposulphite and plunged into the plain water, or placed
upon the support, fig. 25, and the water poured over it.
It is then washed in a similar manner with the distilled water
and well examined, to see that not the slightest particle
of dust rests on the suface. The next step is to dry it.
This may be readily accomplished by holding the plate with your plyers,
and pouring distilled water over it--if it is hot, so much the better.
Apply the spirit lamp to the back, at the corner held by the plyers,
at the same time facilitating the operation with the breath;
pass the lamp gradually downwards, finishing at the extreme corner.
The last drop may now be removed by a little bibulous paper.
A single drop, even, of distilled water allowed to dry on any
part of the surface, is certain to leave a stain which no after
process can remove.
To illustrate the necessity for having perfectly clean water, and free from
all foreign matter--only to be avoided by using that which is distilled--
in these processes, I will relate a little anecdote.
An operator in this city (New York) frequently made complaint to me,
that his plates were occasionally very bad; coming out all over in
little black and white spots and spoiling many very good pictures,
regretting at the same time that perfect plates were not made,
for he had lost many customers in consequence of these defects.
These complaints being somewhat periodical, I suggested that the fault
might be in the hyposulphite, or chloride of gold solutions,
or particles of dust floating about in the room, and not in the plate.
A few days after he stated, that his plates having served him again
in the same way, he procured a fresh supply of hyposulphite of soda
and chloride of gold, but after applying them the result was no better.
He then, by my advice, thoroughly cleaned his wash dishes,
bottles and water pail, made fresh solutions and had no further trouble,
becoming satisfied that the plates suffered an undue share of censure.
SIXTH PROCESS.--Gilding the Picture.--This is an improvement
the honor of which is due to M. Figeau, and may take place either
before the drying process, or at any subsequent period; but it
improves the picture so materially that it should never be neglected.
The articles necessary for gilding are--
A Pair of Plyars; or a Gilding Stand (see fig. 19) and Chloride of Gold;
or Hyposulphite of Gold.
The latter is imported by Mr. E. Anthony, 205 Broadway,
New York, and is decidedly the best article for the purpose.
One bottle simply dissolved in a quart of water will make
a very strong solution, and gives a richness to the picture
impossible to be obtained from the chloride of gold.
The process is precisely similar to that described below
for chloride of gold, taking care to cease the moment
the bubbles are well defined over the surface of the plate.
Many Daguerreotypists, after a superficial trial, discard the
hyposulphite of gold as inferior; but I have no hesitation
in asserting that the fault lies with themselves; for in every
case within my knowledge, where its use has been persisted
in until the correct method has been ascertained and the nature
of the gilding has become familiar, it is always preferred.
In illustration of this fact I will relate an anecdote:
A gentleman to whom it had been recommended, purchased a bottle,
and after making one or two trials of it, wrote to his
correspondent--"Send me two bottles of chloride of gold,
for I want no more of the hyposulphite; it is good for nothing."
A few weeks after he sent for three bottles of the condemned article,
confessing that be had found fault unnecessarily; for, that since he had
become familiar to its use, he must acknowledge its superiority,
and would use no other gilding.
The Solution of Chloride of Gold is prepared by dissolving in a pint
of distilled water, fifteen grains of chrystalized chloride of gold.
This solution will be of a yellow tint. In another pint of distilled
water dissolve fifty-five grains of hyposulphite of soda; pour gradually,
in very small quantities, the gold into the hyposulphite of soda,
stirring the solution at intervals; when finished the mixture should
be nearly colorless.
Place the plate on its stand, or hold it in the plyers, in a perfectly
horrizontal position--silver surface upward--having previously
slightly turned up the edges, so that it may hold the solution.
Wet the surface with alcohol, letting any superfluous quantity drain off.
The alcohol is of no farther use than to facilitate the flowing
of the gold mixture over the surface. Now pour on, carefully,
as much of the preparation of gold as will remain on the plate.
The under part of the plate is then to be heated as uniformly
as possible with the spirit lamp; small bubbles will arrise,
and the appearance of the portrait or view very sensibly improved.
The process must not be carried too far, but as soon as the bubbles
disappear the lamp should be removed, and the plate immersed
in distilled water, and dried as before directed.
7th. COLORING THE PICTURE.--I very much doubt the propriety of coloring
the daguerreotypes, as I am of opinion, that they are little, if any,
improved by the operation, at least as it is now generally practised.
There are several things requisite in an artist to enable him to color
a head, or even a landscape effectively, and correctly, and I must say
that very few of these are possessed by our operators as a class.
These requirements are, a talent for drawing--taste--due discrimination
of effect--strict observance of the characteristic points in the features
of the subject--quick perception of the beautiful, and a knowledge
of the art of mixing colors, and blending tints.
The method now pursued, I do not hesitate to say, and have no fears
of being contradicted by those capable of critisizing is on the whole
ruinous to any daguerreotype, and to a perfect one absolutely disgusting.
The day may come when accurate coloring may be obtained in the camera.
Until that day, if we cannot lead taste into the right channel, we will
endeavor to give such instructions that Daguerreotypists may proceed with this
part of his work with a better understanding of the principles involved.
For this purpose I have prepared a short chapter on the art of coloring,
which may be found in the latter part of this volume.
To Preserve Daguerreotypes they must be well sealed and secured
in a case, or frame. These, of course, are selected according to
the taste of the customer, the principal requisite being good glass.
Most Daguerreotypists prefer the white French plate glass--and
many think, very erroneously, that none is good unless it is thick--
but the great desideratum is clearness and freedom from blisters;
even glass a little tinged with green or yellow is to be
preferred to the French plate when cloudy or blistered and there
is very little of it comes to this market that is not so.
It is to be hoped that some of our glass factories will manage
to manufacture an article expressly for daguerreotypes;
and I would recommend them to do so, for they would find it quite
an item of profit annually.
Before enclosing the picture in the case you should be careful
to wipe the glass perfectly clean, and blow from the picture
any particles of dust which may have fallen upon it.
Then take strips of sticking paper, about half or three quarters
of an inch wide, and firmly and neatly secure it to the glass,
having first placed a "mat" between them to prevent the plate
being scratched by the glass.
TO MAKE SEALING PAPER.--Dissolve one ounce of gum arabic,
and a quarter of an ounce of gum tragicanth in a pint of water;
then add a teaspoonful of benzoin. Spread this evenly on one
side of good stout tissue paper; let it dry, and then cut it up
in stripes, about half or three quarters of an inch wide, for use.
If it becomes too soft for summer use, add gum arabic;
if too hard and cracking, add benzoin or gum tragicanth;
if it gets too thick, add water.
COLORED DAGUERREOTYPES ON COPPER.--To effect this, take a polished plate
of copper and expose it to the vapor of iodine, or bromine, or the two
substances combined; or either of them in combination with chlorine.
This gives a sensitive coating to the surface of the plate,
which may then be submitted to the action of light in the camera.
After remaining a sufficient time in the camera, the plate is
taken out and exposed to the vapor of sulphuretted hydrogen.
This vapor produces various colors on the plate, according to
the intensity with which the light has acted on the different parts;
consequently a colored photographic picture is obtained.
No further process is necessary as exposure to light does not
effect the picture.
By this process we have an advantage over the silvered plate,
both in economy, and in the production of the picture in colors.
INSTANTANTANEOUS PICTURES BY MEANS OF GALVANISM.--It will be seen by
the following valuable communication that galvanism can be successfully
applied in producing pictures instantly; a process of great importance
in securing the likeness of a child, or in taking views of animated nature.
Colonel Whitney informs me that he once took a view of the steeple of
the St. Louis Court House after sundown by this means) and also secured
the image of a man in the act of stepping into a store, and before he had
time to place his foot, raised for that purpose, on the door step.
Mr. Whitney is well known as the talented editor of the Sunday Morning news.
New York, January 16, 1849.
Mr. H. H. SNELLING.
Dear Sir,--As you are about publishing a history of the Daguerreotype,
and request a description of my mode of taking pictures instantaneously
by the aid of galvanism, I comply with great pleasure.
In the year 1841, while practicing the art in St. Louis, Mo., I
was at times, during the summer, much troubled with the electric
influence of the atmosphere, especially on the approach of a
thunder-storm. At such times I found the coating of my plates
much more sensitive than when the atmosphere was comparatively
free from the electric fluid, and the effect was so irregular
that no calculation could counteract the difficulty.
This satisfied me that electricity was in some measure
an important agent in the chemical process, and it occurred
to me that the element might be turned to advantage.
I determined, therefore, to enter on a series of experiments to test
my theory. Finding it impossible to obtain an electric machine,
and unwilling to abandon the examination, it occurred to me,
that the galvanic influence might answer the same purpose.
I therefore proceeded to make a galvanic battery in the following
simple manner. I obtained a piece of zinc about two
inches long, one inch wide, and an eighth of an inch thick.
On this I soldered a narrow strip of copper, about six inches long,
the soldered end laid on one side of the zinc, and extending
its whole length. The battery was completed by placing the zinc
in a glass tumbler, two-thirds full of dilute sulphuric acid,
strong enough to produce a free action of the metals.
The upper end of the copper slip extending above the tumbler
was sharpened to a point, and bent a little over the glass.
The method of using, was thus:--After preparing the plate in the usual
manner and placing it in the camera, in such manner as to expose
the back of the plate to view, the battery was prepared by placing
the zinc in the acid, and as soon as the galvanic fluid began
to traverse (as could be known by the effervessence of the acid,
operating on the zinc and copper) the cap of the camera was removed,
and the plate exposed to the sitter; at the same instant the point
of the battery was brought quickly against the back of the plate,
and the cap replaced instantly. If the plate is exposed more than an
instant after the contact the picture will generally be found solarized.
By this process I have taken pictures of persons in the act of walking,
and in taking the pictures of infants and young children I found
it very useful.
Very respectfully yours,
THOMAS R. WHITNEY.
PAPER DAGUERREOTYPES.--ETCHING DAGUERREOTYPES.
Mr. Hunt describes a process, discovered by himself
by which the Daguerrean art may be applied to paper.
His description is as follows:--
"Placing the paper on some hard body, wash it over on one side--
by means of a very soft camel's hair pencil--with a solution
of sixty grains of bromide of potassium, in two fluid ounces
of distilled water, and then dry it quickly by the fire.
Being dry, it is again washed over with the same solution,
and dried as before. A solution of nitrate of silver--
one hundred grains to an ounce of distilled water--is to be applied
over the same surface, and the paper quickly dried in the dark.
In this state the papers may be kept for use.
"When they are required, the above solution of silver
is to be plentifully applied, and the paper placed wet in
the camera, the greatest care being taken that no day light--
not even the faintest gleam--falls upon it until the moment
when you are prepared, by removing the dark slide, to permit
the light, radiating from the object you wish to copy, to act
in producing the picture. After a few seconds the light must
be again shut off, and the camera removed into a dark room."
The necessity of removing the camera is now avoided by the use
of the dark slide, already described, covering the picture
in the holder, which alone may be removed.--Amer. Aut.
"It will be found by taking the paper from the holder, that there
is but a very faint outline--if any--yet visible. Place it aside,
in perfect darkness until quite dry; then place it in the mercurial
vapor box (meaning bath) and apply a very gentle heat to the bottom.
The moment the mercury vaporizes, the picture will begin to develope itself.
The spirit lamp must now be removed for a short time, and when the action
of the mercury appears to cease, it is to be very carefully applied again,
until a well defined picture is visible. The vaporization must
then be suddenly stopped, and the photograph removed from the box.
The drawing will then be very beautiful and distinct; but much detail
is still clouded, for the developement of which it is only necessary
to place it in the dark and suffer it to remain undisturbed for
some hours. There is now an inexpressible charm about the pictures,
equaling the delicate beauty of the daguerreotype; but being very
susceptible of change, it must be viewed by the light of a taper only.
The nitrate of silver must now be removed from the paper, by well washing
it in soft water, to which a small quantity of salt has been added,
and it should afterwards be soaked in water only. When the picture has
been dried, wash it quickly over with a soft brush dipped in a warm
solution of hyposulphite of soda, and then wash it for some time
in distilled water, in order that all the hyposulphite may be removed.
The drawing is now fixed and we may use it to procure positive copies,
(the original being termed a negative,) many of which may be taken
from one original."
"The action of light on this preparation, does indeed appear
to be instantaneous. The exquisite delicacy of this preparation
may be imagined, when I state that in five seconds in the camera,
I have, during sunshine, obtained perfect pictures, and that when
the sky is overcast, one minute is quite sufficient to produce
a most decided effect."
"This very beautiful process is not without its difficulties;
and the author cannot promise that, even with the closest attention
to the above directions, annoying failures will not occur.
It often happens that some accidental circumstance--generally a
projecting film or a little dust--will occasion the mercurial vapor
to act with great energy on one part of the paper, and blacken it
before the other portions are at all effected. Again, the mercury
will sometimes accumulate along the lines made by the brush,
and give a streaky appearance to the picture, although these lines
are not at all evident before the mercurial vapor was applied.
(A brush sufficiently large--and they may be easily obtained--
will, in a measure, prevent this difficulty.--Amer Au.)
I have stated that the paper should be placed wet in the camera;
the same paper may be used dry, which often is a great convenience.
When in the dry state a little longer exposure is required;
and instead of taking a picture in four or five seconds,
two or three minutes are necessary."
The durability of daguerreotypes has been, and is still,
doubted by many, but experiment has proved that they are more
permanent than oil paintings or engravings.
ETCHING DAGUERREOTYPES.--There are several methods of accomplishing
this object; discovered and applied by different individuals.
The first process was published at Vienna by Dr. Berres, and consisted
in covering the plate with the mucilage of gum arabic, and then immersing
the plate in nitric acid of different strengths.
Mr. Figeau, of whom I have already spoken, likewise discovered a process
for the engraving of Daguerreotypes; and founded on the belief that the lights
of a Daguerreotype plate consists of unaltered silver, while the dark
or shadows consists of mercury or an amalgam of mercury with silver.
He finds that a compound acid, consisting of a mixture of nitric, nitrous,
and muriatic acids, or of nitric mixed with nitrate of potass and common salt,
has the property of attaching the silver in presence of the mercury without
acting upon the latter. Bi-chloride of copper answers the purpose also,
but less completely.
"When the clean surface of a Daguerreotype plate is exposed to
the action of this menstruum, particularly if warm, the white parts,
or lights are not altered, but the dark parts are attacked,
and chloride of silver is formed, of which an insoluable coating
is soon deposited, and the action of the acid soon ceases.
This coat of chloride of silver is removed by a solution of ammonia,
and then the acid applied again, and so on, until the depth
of biting in is sufficient. However, it is not possible,
by repeating this process, to get a sufficient force of impression;
a second operation is required, in order to obtain such a depth as will
hold the ink, to give a dark impression; for this purpose the whole
plate is covered with drying oil; this is cleared off with the hand,
exactly in the way a copper plate printer cleans his plate.
The oil is thus left in the sinkings, or dark bitten in parts only.
The whole plate is now placed in a suitable apparatus, and the lights
or prominent parts of the face are gilt by the electrotype process.
The whole surface is now touched with what the French engravers call
the "Resin Grain," (grain de resine), a species of partial stopping out,
and it is at once bitten in to a sufficient depth with nitric acid,
the gilding preserving the lights from all action of the acid.
The resin grain gives a surface to the corroded parts suitable
for holding the ink, and the plate is now finished and fit to give
impressions resembling aquatint. But as silver is so soft a metal
that the surface of the plate might be expected to wear rapidly,
the discoverer proposes to shield it by depositing over its whole
surface a very thin coat of copper by the electrotype process;
which when worn may be removed at pleasure down to the surface of
the noble metal beneath, and again a fresh coat of copper deposited;
and so an unlimited number of impressions obtained without injuring
the plate itself."
If, as has been asserted, steel may be rendered sufficiently sensitive,
to take photographic impressions, to what a revolution will the art
of engraving be subject by the discovery of this process.
PHOTOGENIC DRAWING ON PAPER.
We shall now proceed to describe the various processes for
Photogenic drawing on paper; first, however, impressing on
the mind of the experimenter, the necessity which exists
for extreme care in every stage of the manipulation.
In this portion of my work I am entirely indebted to the works
of Professors Hunt, Fisher and others.
I. APPARATUS AND MATERIALS.--Paper.--The principal difficulty
to be contended with in using paper, is the different power
of imbibition which we often find possessed in the same sheet,
owing to trifling inequalities in its texture. This is, to a
certain extent, to be overcome by a careful examination of each sheet,
by the light of a candle or lamp at night, or in the dark.
By extending each sheet between the light and the eye,
and slowly moving it up and down, and from left to right,
the variations in its texture will be seen by the different
quantities of light which pass through it in different parts;
and it is always the safest course to reject every sheet in which
inequalities exist. Paper sometimes contains minute portions
of thread, black or brown specks, and other imperfections,
all of which materially interfere with the process. Some paper
has an artificial substance given to it by sulphate of lime
(Plaster of Paris); this defect only exists, however, in the
cheaper sorts of demy, and therefore can be easily avoided.
In all cases such paper should be rejected, as no really
sensitive material can be obtained with it. Paper-makers, as
is well known, often affix their name to one half the sheet;
this moiety should also be placed aside, as the letters
must frequently come out with annoying distinctness.
Well sized paper is by no means objectionable, indeed, is rather
to be preferred, since the size tends to exalt the sensitive
powers of the silver. The principal thing to be avoided,
is the absorption of the sensitive solution into the pores;
and it must be evident that this desideratum cannot be obtained
by unsized paper. Taking all things into consideration,
the paper known as satin post would appear to be preferable,
although the precautions already recommended should be taken
in its selection.
Brushes.--The necessary solutions are to be laid upon the paper by brushes.
Some persons pass the paper over the surface of the solutions,
thus licking up, as it were, a portion of the fluid; but this method
is apt to give an uneven surface; it also rapidly spoils the solutions.
At all events, the brush is the most ready and the most effectual means.
Distilled Water.--All the water used, both for mixing the solutions,
washing the paper, or cleaning the brushes, must be distilled,
to obtain good results, for reasons before specified.
Blotting Paper.--In many instances, the prepared paper requires to be
lightly dried with bibulous paper. The best description is the white sort.
In each stage of the preparation distinct portions of bibulous paper must
be used. If these be kept seperate and marked, they can be again employed
for the same stage; but it would not do, for example, to dry the finished
picture in the same folds in which the sensitive paper had been pressed.
A very convenient method is to have two or three quarto size books
of bibulous paper, one for each seperate process.
Nitrate of Silver.--In the practice of the photographic art,
much depends on the nitrate of silver. Care should be taken
to procure the best; the crystalized salt is most suitable
for the purpose. While in the form of crystal it is not injured
by exposure to light, but the bottles containing the solutions
of this salt should at all times be kept wrapped in dark paper,
and excluded from daylight.
II. DIFFERENT METHODS OF PREPARING THE PAPER.--Preparation of the Paper.--
Dip the paper to be prepared into a weak solution of common salt.
The solution should not be saturated, but six or eight times diluted
with water. When perfectly moistened, wipe it dry with a towel,
or press it between bibulous paper, by which operation the salt
is uniformly dispersed through its substance. Then brush over it,
on one side only, a solution of nitrate of silver. The strength of this
solution must vary according to the color and sensitiveness required.
Mr. Talbot recommends about fifty grains of the salt to an ounce
of distilled water. Some advise twenty grains only, while others say
eighty grains to the ounce. When dried in a dark room, the paper
is fit for use. To render this paper still more sensitive, it must
again be washed with salt and water, and afterwards with the same
solution of nitrate of silver, drying it between times. This paper,
if carefully made, is very useful for all ordinary photographic purposes.
For example, nothing can be more perfect than the images it gives
of leaves and flowers, especially with a summer's sun; the light,
passing through the leaves, delineates every ramification of their fibres.
In conducting this operation, however, it will be found that the results
are sometimes more and sometimes less satisfactory, in consequence
of small and accidental variations in the proportions employed.
It happens sometimes that the chloride of silver formed on the surface of
the paper is disposed to blacken of itself, without any exposure to light.
This shows that the attempt to give it sensibility has been carried too far.
The object is, to approach as nearly to this condition as possible
without reaching it; so that the preparation may be in a state ready
to yield to the slightest extraneous force, such as the feeblest
effect of light.
Cooper's Method.--Soak the paper in a boiling hot solution of
chlorate of potash (the strength matters not) for a few minutes;
then take it out, dry it, and wet it with a brush, on one side only,
dipped in a solution of nitrate of silver, sixty grains to an ounce
of distilled water, or, if not required to be so sensitive,
thirty grains to the ounce will do. This paper possesses a great
advantage over any other, for the image can be fixed by mere washing.
It is, however, very apt to become discolored even in the washing,
or shortly afterwards, and is, besides, not so sensitive, nor does
it become so dark as that made according to Mr. Talbot's method.
Daguerre's Method.--Immerse the paper in hydrochloric (or as it
is more commonly called, muriatic) ether, which has been kept
sufficiently long to become acid; the paper is then carefully and
completely dried, as this is essential to its proper preparation.
It is then dipped into a solution of nitrate of silver,
and dried without artificial heat in a room from which every ray
of light is carefully excluded. By this process it acquires
a very remarkable facility in being blackened on a very slight
exposure to light, even when the latter is by no means intense.
The paper, however, rapidly loses its extreme sensitiveness to light,
and finally becomes no more impressionable by the solar beams
than common nitrate paper.
Bromide Paper.--Of all common photographic paper, the best,
because the least troublesome in making, and the most satisfactory
in result, is that which is termed bromine paper, and which is thus
prepared:--Dissolve one hundred grains of bromide of potassium
in one ounce of distilled water, and soak the paper in this solution.
Take off the superfluous moisture, by means of your bibulous paper,
and when nearly dry, brush it over on one side only, with a solution
of one hundred grains of nitrate of silver to an ounce of distilled water.
The paper should then be dried in a dark room, and, if required to be
very sensitive, should a second time be brushed over with the nitrate
of silver solution.
In preparing the papers mentioned above, there are two circumstances
which require particular attention. In the first place,
it is necessary to mark the paper on the side spread with the
solutions of nitrate of silver, near one of the extreme corners.
This answers two purposes: in the first place it serves to inform
the experimemtalist of the sensitive surface; and secondly,
it will be a guide as to which portion of the papers has been
handled during the application of the solution, as the impress
of the fingers will probably come out upon the photograph.
The second caution is, that the application of the sensitive solution
(nitrate of silver,) and the subsequent drying of the paper,
must be always conducted in a perfectly dark room, the light
of a candle alone being used.
III. PHOTOGENIC PROCESS ON PAPER.--Method.--The simplest
mode is to procure a flat board and a square of glass,
larger in size than the object intended to be copied.
On the board place the photographic paper
with the prepared side upwards, and upon it the object to be copied;
over both lay the glass and secure them so that they are
in close connection by means of binding screws or clamps,
similar to g. g. fig. 29. Should the object to be copied
be of unequal thickness, such as a leaf, grass, &c., it will
be necessary to place on the board, first, a soft cushion,
which may be made of a piece of fine flannel and cotton wool.
By this means the object is brought into closer
contact with the paper, which is of great consequence,
and adds materially to the clearness of the copy.
The paper is now exposed to diffused daylight, or, still better,
to the direct rays of the sun, when that part of the paper not
covered by the object will become tinged with a violet color,
and if the paper be well prepared, it will in a short time pass
to a deep brown or bronze color. It must then be removed,
as no advantage will be obtained by keeping it longer exposed;
on the contrary, the delicate parts yet uncolored will become
in some degree affected. The photogenic paper will now show
a more or less white and distinct representation of the object.
The apparatus figured at 29 consists of a wooden frame similar
to a picture frame; a piece of plate glass is fixed in front;
and it is provided with a sliding cover of wood, c., which is removed
when the paper is ready to be exposed to the action of the light.
The back, d., which is furnished with a cushion, as just described,
is made to remove for the purpose of introducing the object
to be copied, and upon it the prepared paper; the back
is then replaced, and, by aid of the cross piece and screw,
e., the whole is brought into close contact with the glass.
The objects best delineated on these photographic papers,
are lace, feathers, dried plants, particularly the ferns,
sea-weeds and the light grasses, impressions of copper plate and
wood engravings, particularly if they have considerable contrast
of light and shade--(these should be placed with the face downwards,
having been previously prepared as hereafter directed)--
paintings on glass, etchings, &c.
To fix the Drawings.--Mr. Talbot recommends that the drawings
should be dipped in salt and water, and in many instances this
method will succeed, but at times it is equally unsuccessful.
Iodide of potassium, or, as it is frequently called,
hydriodate of potash, dissolved in water, and very much diluted,
(twenty-five grains to one ounce of water,) is a more useful
preparation to wash the drawings with; it must be used
very weak or it will not dissolve the unchanged muriate only,
as is intended but the black oxide also, and the drawing
be thereby spoiled.
But the most certain material to be used is the hyposulphite of soda.
One ounce of this salt should be dissolved in about a pint
of distilled water. Having previously washed the drawing
in a little lukewarm water, which of itself removes a large
portion of the muriate of silver which is to be got rid of,
it should be dipped once or twice in the hyposulphite solution.
By this operation the muriate which lies upon the lighter parts
will become so altered in its nature as to be unchanged by light,
while the rest remains dark as before.
It will be evident from the nature of the process, that the lights
and shadows of an object are reversed. That which is originally
opaque will intercept the light, and consequently those parts
of the photogenic paper will be least influenced by light,
while any part of the object which is transparent, by admitting
the light through it, will suffer the effect to be greater
or less in exact proportion to its degree of transparency.
The object wholly intercepting the light will show a white impression;
in selecting, for example, a butterfly for an object, the insect,
being more or less transparent, leaves a proportionate gradation
of light and shade, the most opaque parts showing the whitest.
It may be said, therefore, that this is not natural, and in order
to obtain a true picture--or, as it is termed, a positive picture--
we must place our first acquired photograph upon a second piece
of photogenic paper. Before we do this, however, we must render
our photograph transparent, otherwise the opacity of the paper
will mar our efforts.
To accomplish this object, the back of the paper containing the negative,
or first acquired photograph, should be covered with white or virgin wax.
This may be done by scraping the wax upon the paper, and then, after placing
it between two other pieces of paper, passing a heated iron over it.
The picture, being thus rendered transparent, should now be applied to a
second piece of photogenic paper, and exposed, in the manner before directed,
either to diffused day-light or to the direct rays of the sun.
The light will now penetrate the white parts, and the second photograph
be the reverse of the first, or a true picture of the original.
Instead of wax, boiled linseed oil--it must be the best and most
transparent kind--may be used. The back of the negative photograph should
be smeared with the oil, and then placed between sheets of bibulous paper.
When dry the paper is highly transparent.
IV. APPLICATION OF PHOTOGENIC DRAWING.--This method of photogenic drawing
may be applied to useful purposes, such as the copying of paintings
on glass by the light thrown through them on the prepared paper--
Imitations of etchings, which may be accomplished by covering
a piece of glass with a thick coat of white oil paint; when dry,
with the point of a needle, lines or scratches are to be made
through the white lead ground, so as to lay the glass bare;
then place the glass upon a piece of prepared paper, and expose it
to the light. Of course every line will be represented beneath
of a black color, and thus an imitation etching will be produced.
It is also applicable to the delineation of microscopic objects,
architecture, seulpture, landscapes and external nature.
A novel application of this art has been recently suggested,
which would doubtless prove useful in very many instances.
By rendering the wood used for engravings sensitive to light,
impressions may be at once made thereon, without the aid
of the artist's pencil. The preparation of the wood is
simply as follows:--Place its face or smooth side downwards,
in a plate containing twenty grains of common salt dissolved
in an ounce of water; here let it remain for five minutes,
take it out and dry it; then place it again face downwards
in another plate containing sixty grains of nitrate of
silver to an ounce of water; here let it rest one minute,
when taken out and dried in the dark it will be fit for use,
and will become, on exposure to the light, of a fine brown color.
Should it be required more sensitive, it must be immersed
in each solution a second time, for a few seconds only.
It will now be very soon effected by a very diffused light.
This process may be useful to carvers and wood engravers not
only to those who cut the fine objects of artistical design,
but still more to those who cut patterns and blocks for lace,
muslin, calico-printing, paper hangings, etc., as by this means
the errors, expense and time of the draughtsman may be wholly saved,
and in a minute or two the most elaborate picture or design,
or the most complicated machinery, be delineated with the utmost
truth and clearness.
CALOTYPE AND CHRYSOTYPE.
The materials and apparatus necessary for the Calotype process are--
Two or Three Shallow Dishes, for holding distilled water, iodide, potassium,
&c.--the same water never being used for two different operations.
White Bibulous Paper.
Photogenic Camera--Fig. 9.
Pressure Frame--Fig 29.
Paper, of the very best quality--directions for the choice
of which have been already given.
A Screen of Yellow Glass.
Camels' or Badgers' hair Brushes:--A seperate one being kept
for each wash and solution, and which should be thoroughly
cleansed immediately after using in distilled water.
That used for the gallo-nitrate is soon destroyed, owing to
the rapid decomposition of that preparation.
A Graduated Measure.
Three or Four Flat Boards, to which the paper may be fixed
with drawing pins.
A Hot Water Drying Apparatus, for drying the paper will also be found useful.
In preparing the Calotype paper, it is necessary to be extremely careful,
not only to prevent the daylight from impringing upon it, but also
to exclude, if possible, the strong glare of the candle or lamp.
This may be effected by using a shade of yellow glass or gauze,
which must be placed around the light. Light passing through such
a medium will scarcely affect the sensitive compounds, the yellow
glass intercepting the chemical rays.
Preparation of the Iodized Paper.--Dissolve one hundred grains
of crystalized nitrate of silver in six ounces of distilled water,
and having fixed the paper to one of the boards, brush it
over with a soft brush on one side only with this solution,
a mark being placed on that side whereby it may be known.
When nearly dry dip it into a solution of iodide of potassium,
containing five hundred grains of that salt dissolved in a pint of water.
When perfectly saturated with this solution, it should be washed
in distilled water, drained and allowed to dry. This is the first part
of the process, and the paper so prepared is called iodized paper.
It should be kept in a port-folio or drawer until required:
with this care it may be preserved for any length of time without
spoiling or undergoing any change.
Mr. Cundell finds a stronger solution of nitrate of silver preferable,
and employs thirty grains to the ounce of distilled water:
he also adds fifty grains of common salt to the iodide of potassium,
which he applies to the marked side of the paper only.
This is the first process.
Preparation of the paper for the Camera.--The second process consists
in applying to the above a solution which has been named by Mr. Talbot
the "Gallo-Nitrate of Silver;" it is prepared in the following manner:
Dissolve one hundred grains of crystalized nitrate of silver in two
ounces of distilled water, to which is added two and two-third drachms
of strong acetic acid. This solution should be kept in a bottle
carefully excluded from the light. Now, make a solution of gallic
acid in cold distilled water: the quantity dissolved is very small.
When it is required to take a picture, the two liquids above described
should be mixed together in equal quantities; but as it speedily
undergoe decomposition, and will not keep good for many minutes, only just
sufficient for the time should be prepared, and that used without delay.
It is also well not to make much of the gallic acid solution,
as it will not keep for more than a few days without spoiling.
A sheet of the iodized paper should be washed over with a brush with this
mixed solution, care being taken that it be applied to the marked side.
This operation must be performed by candle light. Let the paper
rest half a minute, then dip it into one of the dishes of water,
passing it beneath the surface several times; it is now allowed to drain,
and dried by placing its marked side upwards, on the drying apparatus.
It is better not to touch the surface with bibulous paper.
It is now highly sensitive, and ready to receive the impression.
In practice it is found better and more economical not to mix the nitrate
of silver and gallic acid, but only to brush the paper with the solution
of the nitrate.
Mr. Talbot has recently proposed some modifications in his method of
preparing the calotype paper. The paper is first iodized in the usual way;
it is then washed over with a saturated solution of gallic acid in distilled
water and dried. Thus prepared he calls it the io-gallic paper:
it will remain good for a considerable time if kept in a press or portfolio.
When required for use, it is washed with a solution of nitrate of silver
(fifty grains to the ounce of distilled water), and it is then fit
for the camera.
Exposure in the Camera.--The calotype paper thus prepared
possesses a very high degree of sensibility when exposed
to light, and we are thus provided with a medium by which,
with the aid of the photogenic camera, we may effectually copy
views from nature, figures, buildings, and even take portraits
from the shadows thrown on the paper by the living face.
The paper may be used somewhat damp. The best plan for fixing
it in the camera is to place it between a piece of plate
glass and some other material with a flat surface, as a piece
of smooth slate or an iron plate, which latter, if made warm,
renders the paper more sensitive, and consequently the picture
is obtained more rapidly.
Time of Exposure.--With regard to the time which should be
allowed for the paper to remain in the camera, no direct rules
can be laid down; this will depend altogether upon the nature
of the object to be copied, and the light which prevails.
All that can be said is, that the time necessary for forming
a good picture varies from thirty seconds to five minutes,
and it will be naturally the first object of the operator
to gain by experience this important knowledge.
Bringing Out the Picture.--The paper when taken from the camera,
which should be done so as to exclude every ray of light--and here
the dark slide of the camera plate holder becomes of great use--
bears no resemblance to the picture which in reality is formed.
The impression is latent and invisible, and its existence would
not be suspected by any one not acquainted with the process by
previous experiment. The method of bringing out the image is very simple.
It consists in washing the paper with the gallo-nitrate of silver,
prepared in the way already described, and then warming it gently,
being careful at the same time not to let any portion become
perfectly dry. In a few seconds the part of the paper upon
which the light has acted will begin to darken, and finally grow
entirely black, while the other parts retain their original color.
Even a weak impression may be brought out by again washing
the paper in the gallo-nitrate, and once more gently warming it.
When the paper is quite black, as is generally the case, it is a
highly curious and beautiful phenomenon to witness the commencement
of the picture, first tracing out the stronger outlines, and then
gradually filling up all the numerous and complicated details.
The artist should watch the picture as it developes itself, and when in his
judgment it has attained the greatest degree of strength and clearness,
he shall stop further proceedings by washing it with the fixing liquid.
Here again the mixed solution need not be used, but the picture
simply brushed over with the gallic acid.
The Fixing Process.--In order to fix the picture thus obtained,
first dip it into water; then partly dry it with bibulous paper,
and wash it with a solution of bromide of potassium--containing one hundred
grains of that salt dissolved in eight or ten ounces of distilled water.
The picture is again washed with distilled water, and then finally dried.
Instead of bromide of potassium, a solution of hyposulphite of soda,
as before directed, may be used with equal advantage.
The original calotype picture, like the photographic one described
in the last chapter, is negative, that is to say, it has its lights
and shades reversed, giving the whole an appearance not conformable
to nature. But it is easy from this picture to obtain another
which shall be conformable to nature; viz., in which the lights
shall be represented by lights, and the shades by shades.
It is only necessary to take a sheet of photographic paper (the bromide
paper is the best), and place it in contact with a calotype picture
previously rendered transparent by wax or oil as before directed.
Fix it in the frame, Fig. 29, expose it in the sunshine for a short time,
and an image or copy will be formed on the photogenic paper.
The calotype paper itself may be used to take the second, or positive,
picture, but this Mr. Talbot does not recommend, for although it
takes a much longer time to take a copy on the photogenic paper,
yet the tints of such copy are generally more harmonious and agreeable.
After a calotype picture has furnished a number of copies it
sometimes grows faint, and the subsequent copies are inferior.
This may be prevented by means of a process which revives the strength
of the calotype pictures. In order to do this, it is only
nesessary to wash them by candlelight with gallo-nitrate of silver,
and then warm them. This causes all the shades of the picture
to darken considerably, while the white parts are unaffected.
After this the picture is of course to be fixed a second time.
It will then yield a second series of copies, and, in this way,
a great number may frequently be made.
The calotype pictures when prepared as we have stated, possess a
yellowish tint, which impedes the process of taking copies from them.
In order to remedy this defect, Mr. Talbot has devised the
following method. The calotype picture is plunged into a solution
consisting of hyposulphite of soda dissolved in about ten times
its weight of water, and heated nearly to the boiling point.
The picture should remain in about ten minutes; it must then
be removed, washed and dried. By this process the picture
is rendered more transparent, and its lights become whiter.
It is also rendered exceedingly permanent. After this process
the picture may be waxed, and thus its transparency increased.
This process is applicable to all photographic papers prepared
with solutions of silver.
Having thus fully, and it is hoped clearly, considered the process,
it may be necessary before dismissing the calotype from notice,
to add one or two remarks from the observations and labors
of some who have experimented in this art. Dr. Ryan in his
lectures before the Royal Polytechnic Institution, has observed,
that in the iodizing process the sensitiveness of the paper
is materially injured by keeping it too long in the solution
of iodide of potassium, owing to the newly formed iodide
of silver being so exceedingly solvable in excess of iodide
of potassium as in a few minutes to be completely removed.
The paper should he dipped in the solution and instantly removed.
There is another point, too, in the preparation of the iodized
paper in which suggestions for a slight deviation from
Mr. Talbot's plan have been made. In the first instance,
it is recommended that the paper be brushed over with the iodide
of potassium, instead of the nitrate of silver, transposing,
in fact, the application of the first two solutions.
The paper, having been brushed over with the iodide of potassium
in solution, is washed in distilled water and dried.
It is then brushed over with nitrate of silver, and after
drying is dipped for, a moment in a fresh solution of iodide
of potassium of only one-fourth the strength of the first,
that is to say, one hundred and twenty-five grains of the salt
to a pint of water. After this it is again washed and dried.
The advantage derived from this method, is a more sensitive paper,
and a more even distribution of the compounds over the surface.
Another deviation from Mr. Talbot's method has been suggested, as follows:
Brush the paper over with a solution of one hundred grains
of nitrate of silver to an ounce of water. When nearly,
but not quite, dry, dip it into a solution of twenty-five
grains of iodide of potassium to one ounce of distilled water,
drain it, wash it in distilled water and again drain it.
Now brush it over with aceto-nitrate of silver, made by dissolving
fifty grains of nitrate of silver in one ounce of distilled water,
to which is added one sixth of its volume of strong acetic acid.
Dry it with bibulous paper, and it is ready for receiving the image.
When the impression has been received, which will require from one
to five minutes according to the state of the weather, it must be
washed with a saturated solution of gallic acid to which a few drops
of the aceto-nitrate of silver, made as above, have been added.
The image will thus be gradually brought out, and may be fixed with
hyposulphite of soda. To obtain the positive picture, paper must
be used brushed over with an ammonio-nitrate of silver, made thus:
forty grains of nitrate of silver is to be dissolved in one ounce
of distilled water, and liquid ammonia cautiously added till it
re-dissolves the precipitate.
A pleasing effect may be given to calotype, or indeed
to all photographic pictures, by waxing them at the back,
and mounting them on white paper, or if colored paper be used,
various beautiful tones of color are produced.
At a meeting of the British Association, Professor Grove
described a process by which positive calotype pictures could
be directly obtained; and thus the necessity to transfer
by which the imperfections of the paper are shown, and which
is moreover a troublesome and tedious process, is avoided.
As light favors most chemical actions, Mr. Grove was led
to believe that a paper darkened by the sun (which darkening
is supposed to result from the precipitation of silver)
might be bleached by using a solvent which would not attack
the silver in the dark, but would do so in the light.
The plan found to be the most successful is as follows:
ordinary calotype paper is darkened till it assumes a deep
brown color, almost amounting to black; it is then redipped
into the ordinary solution of iodide of potassium, and dried.
When required for use it is drawn over dilute nitric acid--
one part acid to two and a half parts water. In this state,
those parts exposed to the light are rapidly bleached,
while the parts not exposed remain unchanged. It is fixed
by washing in water, and subsequently in hyposulphite of soda,
or bromide of potassium.
Mr. Grove also describes a process for converting a negative
calotype into a positive one, which promises, when carried out,
to be of great utility.
Let an ordinary calotype image or portrait be taken in the camera,
and developed by gallic acid; then drawn over iodide of potassium
and dilute nitric acid and exposed to full sunshine; while bleaching
the dark parts, the light is redarkening the newly precipitated iodide
in the lighter portions and thus the negative picture is converted
into a positive one.
The calotype process has been applied to the art of printing,
in England, but it possesses no advantages whatever over
the method, with type, now so gloriously brought to perfection;
and I can hardly think it will ever be made of any utility.
For the benefit of the curious, however, I will give
Mr. Talbot's method.
Some pages of letter-press are taken printed on one side only; and waxed,
to render them more transparent; the letters are then cut out and sorted.
To compose a new page lines are ruled on a sheet of white paper, and the
words are formed by fixing the seperate letters in their proper order.
The page being ready, a negative photograph is produced from it, from which
the requisite number of positive photogenic copies may be obtained.
Another method, which requires the use of the camera,
consists in employing large letters painted on rectangular
pieces of wood, colored white. These are arranged in lines on
a tablet or board, by slipping them into grooves which keep them
steady and upright, thus forming a page on an enlarged scale.
It is now placed before a camera, and a reduced image of it
of the required size is thrown upon the sensitive paper.
The adjustments must be kept invariable, so that the consecutive
pages may not vary from one another in the size of the type.
Mr. Talbot has patented his process, but what benefit he expects
to derive from it, I am at a loss to determine.
Enlarged copies of calotype or Daguerreotype portraits may be
obtained by throwing magnified images of them, by means of lenses,
upon calotype paper.
A modification of Mr. Talbot's process, to which the name of Chrysotype
was given by its discoverer, Sir John Herschel, was communicated
in June 1843 to the Royal Society, by that distinguished philosopher.
This modification would appear to unite the simplicity of
photography with all the distintness and clearness of calotype.
This preparation is as follows.
The paper is to be washed in a solution of ammonio-citrate of iron;
it must then be dried, and subsequently brushed over with a solution of
the ferro-sesquicyanuret of potassium. This paper, when dried in a perfectly
dark room, is ready for use in the same manner as if otherwise prepared,
the image being subsequently brought out by any neutral solution of gold.
Such was the first declaration of his discovery, but he has since found that
a neutral solution of silver is equally useful in bringing out the picture.
Photographic pictures taken on this paper are distinguished by a clearness
of outline foreign to all other methods.
AND "CRAYON DAGUERREOTYPE."
The several processes enumerated at the head of this chapter,
are all discoveries of English philosophers, with the exception
of the third and last named. Anthotype was first attempted
by M. Ponton a French savan, although it was reserved
to Mr. Hunt to bring the process to its present state.
The "Crayon Daguerreotype" is an improvement made by J. A Whipple,
Esq., of Boston
So called from the circumstance of cyanogen in its combinations
with iron performing a leading part in the process.
It was discovered by Sir John Herschel. The process is a simple one,
and the resulting pictures are blue.
Brush the paper over with a solution of the ammonio-citrate of iron.
This solution should be sufficiently strong to resemble sherry wine in color.
Expose the paper in the usual way, and pass over it very sparingly
and evenly a wash of the common yellow ferro-cyanate of potass.
As soon as the liquid is applied, the negative picture vanishes,
and is replaced by a positive one, of a violet blue color, on a greenish
yellow ground, which at a certain time possesses a high degree of sharpness,
and singular beauty of tint.
A curious process was discovered by Sir John Herschel,
by which dormant pictures are produced capable of developement
by the breath, or by keeping in a moist atmosphere.
It is as follows.
If nitrate of silver, specific gravity 1.200 be added to
ferro-tartaric acid, specific gravity 1.023, a precipitate falls,
which is in a great measure redissolved by a gentle heat,
leaving a black sediment, which, being cleared by subsidence,
a liquid of a pale yellow color is obtained, in which
the further addition of the nitrate causes no turbidness.
When the total quantity of the nitrated solution added amounts
to about half the bulk of the ferro-tartaric acid, it is enough.
The liquid so prepared does not alter if kept in the dark.
Spread on paper, and exposed wet to the sunshine (partly shaded)
for a few seconds, no impression seems to be made, but by degrees,
although withdrawn from the action of light, it developes
itself spontaneously, and at length becomes very intense.
But if the paper be thoroughly dried in the dark,
(in which state it is of a very pale greenish yellow color,)
it possesses the singular property of receiving a dormant or
invisible picture, to produce which from thirty to sixty seconds'
exposure to sunshine is requisite. It should not be exposed too long,
as not only is the ultimate effect less striking, but a picture
begins to be visibly produced, which darkens spontaneously after
it is withdrawn. But if the exposure be discontinued before
this effect comes on, an invisible impression is the result,
to develope which all that is necessary is to breathe upon it,
when it immediately appears, and very speedily acquires
an extraordinary intensity and sharpness, as if by magic.
Instead of the breath, it may be subject to the regular action
of aqueous vapor, by laying it in a blotting paper book,
of which some of the outer leaves on both sides have been dampened,
or by holding over warm water.
Under this title a process has been brought forward by Mr. Hunt.
It consists of the application of a solution of succinic acid
to paper, which is subsequently washed over with nitrate of silver.
The image is then to be taken either in the camera or otherwise,
as required, and is brought out by the application of the sulphate of iron
in solution. Although this process has not come into general use,
its exact description may be interesting to the general reader,
and we therefore subjoin it.
The solution with which the paper is first washed is to be prepared
as follows: succinic acid, two drachms; common salt, five grains;
mucilage of gum arabic, half a fluid drachm; distilled water,
one fluid drachm and a half. When the paper is nearly dry,
it is to be brushed over with a solution of nitrate of silver,
containing a drachm of the salt, to an ounce of distilled water.
It is now ready for exposure in the camera. To bring out the dormant
picture it is necessary to wash it with a mixture of a drachm
of concentrated solution of the green sulphate of iron and two
drachms and a half of mucilage of gum arabic.
Subsequently, however, it has been found that the sulphate of iron
produces upon all the salts of silver effects quite as beautiful
as in the succinate. On the iodide, bromide, acetate, and benzoate,
the effects are far more pleasing and striking. When pictures are produced,
or the dormant camera image brought out, by the agency of sulphate
of iron, it is remarkable how rapidly the effect takes place.
Engravings can be thus copied almost instantaneously, and camera views
obtained in one or two minutes on almost any preparation of silver.
The common sulphate of copper solution has the same property.
Many efforts have been made to render chromatic acid an active agent
in the production of photographs. M. Ponton used a paper saturated with
bichromate of potash, and this was one of the earliest photogenic processes.
M. Becquerel improved upon this process by sizing the paper with starch
previous to the application of the bichromate of potash solution,
which enabled him to convert the negative picture into a positive one,
by the use of a solution of iodine, which combined with that portion
of the starch on which the light had not acted. But by neither
of these processes could clear and distinct pictures be formed.
Mr. Hunt has, however, discovered a process which is so exceedingly simple,
and the resulting pictures of so pleasing a character, that, although it
is not sufficiently sensitive for use in the camera, it will be found
of the greatest value for copying botanical specimens, engravings,
or the like.
The paper to be prepared is washed over with a solution of sulphate
of copper--about one drachm to an ounce of water--and partially dried;
it is then washed with a moderately strong solution of bichromate
of potash, and dried at a little distance from the fire.
Paper thus prepared may be kept any length of time, in a portfolio,
and are always ready for use.
When exposed to the sunshine for a time, varying with
the intensity of the light, from five to fifteen or
twenty minutes, the result is generally a negative picture.
It is now to be washed over with a solution of nitrate of silver,
which immediately produces a very beautiful deep orange picture
upon a light dim colored, or sometimes perfectly white ground.
This picture must be quickly fixed, by being washed in pure water,
and dried. With regard to the strength of the solutions,
it is a remarkable fact, that, if saturated solutions be employed,
a negative picture is first produced, but if the solutions
be three or four times their bulk of water, the first action
of the sun's rays darkens the picture, and then a very bleaching
effect follows, giving an exceedingly faint positive picture,
which is brought out with great delicacy by the silver solution.
It is necessary that pure water should be used for the fixing,
as the presence of any muriate damages the picture,
and here arises another pleasing variation of the Chromatype.
If the positive picture be placed in a very weak solution
of common salt the image slowly fades out, leaving a faint
negative outline. If it now be removed from the saline solution,
dried, and again exposed to sunshine, a positive picture
of a lilac color will be produced by a few minutes exposure.
Several other of the chromates may be used in this process,
but none is so successful as the chromate of copper.
The expressed juice, alcholic, or watery infusion of flowers,
or vegetable substances, may be made the media of photogenic action.
This fact was first discovered by Sir John Herschel.
We have already given a few examples of this in the third chapter.
Certain precautions are necessary in extracting the coloring matter
of flowers. The petals of fresh flowers are carefully selected,
and crushed to a pulp in a marble mortar, either alone or with
the addition of a little alcohol, and the juice expressed
by squeezing the pulp in a clean linen or cotton cloth.
It is then to be spread upon paper with a flat brush, and dried
in the air without artificial heat. If alcohol be not added,
the application on paper must be performed immediately, as the air
(even in a few minutes), irrecoverably changes or destroys their color.
If alcohol be present this change is much retarded, and in some
cases is entirely prevented.
Most flowers give out their coloring matter to alcohol or water.
Some, however, refuse to do so, and require the addition of alkalies,
others of acid, &c. Alcohol has, however, been found to enfeeble,
and in many cases to discharge altogether these colors; but they are,
in most cases, restored upon drying, when spread over paper.
Papers tinged with vetegable colors must always be kept in the dark,
and perfectly dry.
The color of a flower is by no means always, or usually,
that which its expressed juice imparts to white paper.
Sir John Herschel attributes these changes to the escape of carbonic
acid in some cases; to a chemical alteration, depending upon
the absorption of oxygen, in others; and again in others,
especially where the expressed juice coagulates on standing,
to a loss of vitality, or disorganization of the molecules.
To secure an eveness of tint on paper, the following manipulation
is recommended:--The paper should be moistened on the back
by sponging and blotting off. It should then be pinned on
a board, the moist side downwards, so that two of its edges
(suppose the right-hand and lower ones) shall project a little
beyond those of the board. The board then being inclined
twenty or thirty degrees to the horizon, the alcoholic tincture
(mixed with a very little water, if the petals themselves be
not very juicy) is to be applied with a brush in strokes from
left to right, taking care not to go over the edges which rest
on the board; but to pass clearly over those that project;
and observing also to carry the tint from below upwards
by quick sweeping strokes, leaving no dry spaces between them,
but keeping up a continuity of wet spaces. When all is wet,
cross them by another set of strokes from above downwards,
so managing the brush as to leave no floating liquid on the paper.
It must then be dried as quickly as possible over a stove,
or in a warm current of air, avoiding, however, such heat
as may injure the tint.
In addition to the flowers already mentioned in my third chapter,
the following are among those experimented upon and found to give
tolerable good photographic sensitives. I can only enumerate them,
referring the student, for any further information he may desire on
the subject, to Mr. Hunt's work; although what I have said above is
sufficient for all practical purposes; and any one, with the ambition,
can readily experiment upon them, without further research, on any
other flower he may choose.
Viola Odorata--or sweet sented violet, yields to alcohol a rich blue color,
which it imparts in high perfection to paper
Senecio Splendens--or double purple groundsel, yields a beautiful
color to paper.
The leaves of the laurel, common cabbage, and the grasses,
are found sufficiently senstive.
Common Merrigold yields an invaluable faecula, which appears identical with
that produced by the Wall-flower, and Cochorus japonica mentioned before,
and is very sensitive, but photographs procured upon it cannot be preserved,
the color is so fugitive.
From an examination of the researches of Sir John Herschel on
the coloring matter of plants, it will be seen that the action
of the sun's rays is to destroy the color, effecting a sort
of chromatic analysis, in which two distinct elements of color
are separated, by destroying the one and leaving the other outstanding.
The action is confined within the visible spectrum, and thus a broad
distinction is exhibited between the action of the sun's rays
on vegetable juices and on argentine compounds, the latter being
most sensibly affected by the invisible rays beyond the violet.
It may also be observed, that the rays effective in destroying
a given tint, are in a great many cases, those whose union produces
a color complementary to the tint destroyed, or, at least, one belonging
to that class of colors to which such complementary tint may be preferred.
For instance, yellows tending towards orange are destroyed with more
energy by the blue rays; blues by the red, orange and yellow rays;
purples and pinks by yellow and green rays.
This process is a discovery of Sir John Herschel and receives its name
from the fact that both negative and positive photographs can be produced
by one process. The positive pictures obtained by it have a perfect
resemblance to impressions of engravings with common printer's ink.
The process, although not yet fully carried out, promises to be
of vast utility.
Paper proper for producing an amphitype picture may be prepared
either with the ferro-tartrate or the ferro-citrate of the protoxide,
or the peroxide of mercury, or of the protoxide of lead,
by using creams of these salts, or by successive applications
of the nitrates of the respective oxides, singly or in mixture,
to the paper, alternating with solutions of the ammonia-tartrate
or the ammonia-citrate of iron, the latter solution being last applied,
and in more or less excess. I purposely avoid stating proportions,
as I have not yet been able to fix upon any which certainly succeed.
Paper so prepared and dried takes a negative picture, in a time
varying from half an hour to five or six hours, according to
the intensity of the light; and the impression produced varies
in apparent force from a faint and hardly perceptible picture
to one of the highest conceivable fulness and richness both of tint
and detail, the color being in this case a superb velvety brown.
This extreme richness of effect is not produced unless lead
be present, either in the ingredients used, or in the paper itself.
It is not, as I originally supposed, due to the presence of free
tartaric acid. The pictures in this state are not permanent.
They fade in the dark, though with very different degrees
of rapidity, some (especially if free tartaric or citric acid
be present) in a few days, while others remain for weeks unimpaired,
and require whole years for their total obliteration.
But though entirely faded out in appearance, the picture is only
rendered dormant, and may be restored, changing its character
from negative to positive, and its colors from brown to black,
(in the shadows), by the following process:--A bath being prepared
by pouring a small quantity of solution of pernitrate of mercury
into a large quantity of water, and letting the subnitrated
precipitates subside, the picture may be immersed in it,
(carefully and repeatedly clearing off all air bubbles,)
and allowed to remain till the picture (if any where visible,)
is entirely destroyed; or if faded, till it is judged sufficient
from previous experience; a term which is often marked by the
appearance of a feeble positive picture, of a bright yellow hue,
on the pale yellow ground of the paper. A long time (several weeks)
is often required for this, but heat accelerates the action,
and it is often completed in a few hours. In this state the picture
is to be very thoroughly rinsed and soaked in pure warm water,
and then dried. It is then to be well ironed with a smooth iron,
heated so as barely not to injure the paper, placing it,
for greater security against scorching, between clean smooth paper.
If then the process have been successful, a perfectly black positive
picture is at once developed. At first it most commonly happens
that the whole picture is sooty or dingy to such a degree that it
is condemned as spoiled, but on keeping it between the leaves
of a book, especially in a moist atmosphere, by extremely slow
degrees this dinginess disappears, and the picture disengages
itself with continually increasing sharpness and clearness,
and acquires the exact effect of a copper-plate engraving on
a paper more or less tinted with a pale yellow.
I ought to observe, that the best and most uniform specimens which I
have procured have been on paper previously washed with certain
preparations of uric acid, which is a very remarkable and powerful
photographic element. The intensity of the original negative
picture is no criterion of what may be expected in the positive.
It is from the production by one and the same action of light,
of either a positive or negative picture according to the
subsequent manipulations, that I have designated the process,
thus generally sketched out, by the term Amphitype,--a name suggested
by Mr. Talbot, to whom I communicated this singular result;
and to this process or class of processes (which I cannot
doubt when pursued will lead to some very beautiful results,)
I propose to restrict the name in question, though it applies
even more appropriately to the following exceedingly curious
and remarkable one, in which silver is concerned:
At the last meeting I announced a mode of producing, by means
of a solution of silver, in conjunction with ferro-tartaric acid,
a dormant picture brought into a forcible negative impression
by the breath or moist air. (See Cyanotype.) The solution
then described, and which had at that time been prepared
some weeks, I may here incidentally remark, has retained its
limpidity and photogenic properties, quite unimpaired during
the whole year since elapsed, and is now as sensitive as ever,--
a property of no small value. Now, when a picture (for example
an impression from an engraving) is taken on paper washed
with this solution, it shows no sign of a picture on its back,
whether that on its face is developed or not; but if,
while the actinic influence is still fresh upon the face,
(i.e., as soon as it is removed from the light), the back
be exposed for a very few seconds to the sunshine,
and then removed to a gloomy place, a positive picture,
the exact complement of the negative one on the other side,
though wanting of course in sharpness if the paper be thick,
slowly and gradually makes its appearance there, and in half
an hour or an hour acquires a considerable intensity.
I ought to mention that the "ferro-tartaric acid"
in question is prepared by precipitating the ferro-tartrate
of ammonia (ammonia-tartrate of iron) by acetate of lead,
and decomposing the precipitate by dilute sulphuric acid.
When lead is used in the preparation of Amphitype paper,
the parts upon which the light has acted are found to be in
a very high degree rendered water proof.--Sir J. Herschel.
This process is a new invention of our countryman, J. A. Whipple,
Esq., of Boston, and has been patented by M. A. Root, Esq., of Philadelphia.
It will be seen, however, from the previous pages of my work that Mr. Root
is mistaken in regard to his being the first improvement patented in
this country, althongh it is unquestionably the first by an American.
Of this improvement Mr. Root says:
VI. "CRAYON DAGUERREOTYPE."
"The improvement to which you refer is denominated "The
Crayon Daguerreotype." This invention made by Mr. J. A. Whipple,
is the only improvement in Daguerreotyping, I believe,
for which Letters Patent for the United States were ever issued.
The pictures produced by this process--which is of the simplest
description imaginable--have the appearance and effect of very fine
"Crayon Drawings," from which the improvement takes its name.
Some of our most distinguished artists have given it their
unqualified admiration. Among them, our Mezzotinto Engravers,
especially John Sartain, Esq., who, from his rich embellishments
to most of the leading Magazines and Annuals of the country,
as well as from the celebrity of the superb Magazine which bears
his name, is so well known and so well qualified to judge
of its merits. As an auxiliary to the artist, in furnishing
heads to the Magazines, or other works, it is invaluable;
the great object which it accomplishes being to give a finer
effect and more distinct expression to all the features--
the whole power of the instrument being directed to, and confined
to the head."
"The late hour at which this subject has been brought to our notice
prevents so full a description as we would otherwise have been
glad to furnish. The New England States have been disposed of;
negotiations for any of the others can be made through M. A. Root,
140 Chestnut street, Philadelphia."
"A series of beautiful portraits are about being prepared by
the "Crayton Process" for the express purpose of being placed on
the exhibition at the "Art Union," when amateurs, artists, and the
public generally will have an opportunity of witnessing its effect.
We are especially gratified with this striking improvement,
from the advantages which it promises to the Daguerrean art."
"It is admirably designed to excite a new interest on the subject
through the community, and in this way--and from its tendency to render
the art more generally useful, and to elevate and distinguish it--
to make it to all a matter of more general importance."
"M. A. ROOT."
In our second edition, we hope--with Mr. Root's permission--
to lay the whole process before the public, although our
artists must bear in mind that Mr. Root's patent secures to him
the exclusive right of its application.
ON THE PROBABILITY OF PRODUCING COLORED PICTURES BY THE SOLAR RADIATIONS--
PHOTOGRAPHIC DEVIATIONS--LUNAR PICTURES--DRUMMOND LIGHT.
Having before noticed the fact that some advances had been made towards
taking Daguerreotypes in color, by means of solar rays, and expressed
the hope that the day was not far distant when this might be accomplished,
I here subjoin Mr. Hunt's remarks on this subject.
Mr. Biot, in 1840, speaking of Mr. Fox Talbot's beautiful calotype pictures,
considers as an illusion "the hope to reconcile, not only the intensity
but the tints of the chemical impressions produced by radiations,
with the colors of the object from which these radiations emanated."
It is true that three years have passed away, and we have not yet
produced colored images; yet I am not inclined to consider the hope
as entirely illusive.
It must be remembered that the color of bodies depends
entirely upon the arrangement of their molecules.
We have numerous very beautiful experiments in proof of this.
The bi-niodide of mercury is a fine scarlet when precipitated.
If this precipitate is heated between plates of glass,
it is converted into crystals of a fine sulphur yellow,
which remain of that color if undisturbed, but which becomes
very speedily scarlet if touched with any pointed instrument.
This very curious optical phenomena has been investigated
by Mr. Talbot and by Mr. Warrington. Perfectly dry sulphate
of copper is white; the slightest moisture turns it blue.
Muriate of cobalt is of a pale pink color; a very slight heat,
by removing a little moisture, changes it to a green.
These are a few instances selected from many which might be given.
If we receive a prismatic spectrum on some papers, we have
evidence that the molecular or chemical disturbance bears
some relation to the color of each ray, or, in other words,
that colored light so modifies the action of ENERGIA
that the impression it makes is in proportion to the color
of the light it accompanies, and hence there results a molecular
arrangement capable of reflecting colors differently.
Some instances have been given in which the rays impressed
correspond with the colors of the luminous rays in a very remarkable
manner.* One of the most decided cases is that of the paper
prepared with the fluoride of soda and nitrate of silver.
Sir John Herschel was, however, the first to obtain any good
specimens of photographically impressed prismatic colorations.
* See Mr. Hunt's "Researches on Light."
It was noticed by Daguerre that a red house gave a reddish
image on his iodized silver plate in the camera obscura;
and Mr. Talbot observed, very early in his researches,
that the red of a colored print was copied of a red color,
on paper spread with the chloride of silver.**
** In 1842, I had shown me a picture of a house in the Bowery,
which had been repaired a few days previous, and in the wall a red
brick left. This brick was brought out on the Daguerreotype
plate of precisely the same color as the brick itself.
The same artist also exhibited to me, the full length portrait of a
gentleman who were a pair of pantaloons having a blue striped figure.
This blue stripe was fully brought out, of the same color,
in the picture.--AMER. ED.
"In 1840 I communicated to Sir John Herschel some very curious
results obtained by the use of colored media, which he did me
the honor of publishing in one of his memoirs on the subject
from which I again copy it."
"A paper prepared with muriate of barytes and nitrate of silver,
allowed to darken whilst wet in the sunshine to a chocolate color, was placed
under a frame containing a red, a yellow, a green, and a blue glass.
After a week's exposure to diffused light, it became red under the red glass,
a dirty yellow under the yellow glass, a dark green under the green,
and a light olive under the blue.
"The above paper washed with a solution of salt of iodine,
is very sensitive to light, and gives a beautiful picture.
A picture thus taken was placed beneath the above glasses,
and another beneath four flat bottles containing colored fluids.
In a few days, under the red glass and fluid, the picture became
a dark blue, under the yellow a light blue, under the green
it remained unchanged, whilst under the blue it became
a rose red, which in about three weeks changed into green.
Many other experiments of a similar nature have been tried
since that time with like results.
"In the summer of 1843, when engaged in some experiments on papers prepared
according to the principles of Mr. Talbot's calotype, I had placed in a camera
obscura a paper prepared with the bromide of silver and gallic acid.
The camera embraced a picture of a clear blue sky, stucco-fronted houses,
and a green field. The paper was unavoidably exposed for a longer
period than was intended--about fifteen minutes,--a very beautiful
picture was impressed, which, when held between the eye and the light,
exhibited a curious order of colors. The sky was of a crimson hue,
the houses of a slaty blue, and the green fields of a brick red tint.
Surely these results appear to encourage the hope, that we may eventually
arrive at a process by which external nature may be made to impress its
images on prepared surfaces, in all the beauty of their native coloration."
Before taking leave of the subject of photogenic drawing,
I must mention one or two facts, which may be of essential
service to operators.
It has been observed by Daguerre, and others, in Europe, and probably
by some of our own artists, that the sun two hours after it has passed
the meridian, is much less effective in the photographic process,
than it is two hours previous to its having reached that point.
This may depend upon an absorptive power of the air, which may reasonably
be supposed to be more charged with vapor two hours before noon.
The fuse of the hygrometer may possibly establish the truth or falsity
of this supposition. The fact, however, of a better result being produced
before noon being established, persons wishing their portraits taken, will see
the advantage of obtaining an early sitting, if they wish good pictures.
On the other hand, if the supposition above mentioned prove true,
a too early sitting must be avoided.
If we take a considerable thickness of a dense purple fluid,
as, for instance, a solution of the ammonia-sulphate of copper,
we shall find that the quantity of light is considerably diminished,
at least four-fifths of the luminous rays being absorbed,
while the chemical rays permeate it with the greatest facility,
and sensitive preparations are affected by its influence,
notwithstanding the deficiency of light, nearly as powerfully
as if exposed to the undecomposed sunbeams.
It was first imagined that "under the brilliant sun and clear skies
of the south, photographic pictures would be produced with much
greater quickness than they could be in the atmosphere of Paris.
It is found, however, that a much longer time is required.
Even in the clear and beautiful light of the higher Alps, it has been proved
that the production of the photographic picture requires many minutes more,
even with the most sensitive preparations, than it does in London.
It has also been found that under the brilliant light of Mexico,
twenty minutes, and half an hour, are required to produce effects
which in England would occupy but a minute; and travellers engaged
in copying the antiquities of Yucatan have on several occasions abandoned
the use of the photographic camera, and taken to their sketch books.
Dr. Draper* has observed a similar difference between the chemical
action of light in New York and Virginia. This can be only explained
by the supposition that the intensity of the light and heat of these
climes interferes with the action of the ENERGIC rays on those sensitive
preparations which are employed.
* I would here take occasion to remark that our country man, Dr. Draper,
is very frequently quoted by Mr, Huut in his "Researches."
LUNAR PICTURES--DRUMMOND LIGHT.
The Roman Astronomers state that they have procured
Daguerreotype impressions of the Nebula of the sword of Orion.
Signor Rondini has a secret method of receiving photographic images
on lithographic stone; on such a prepared stone they have succeeded
in impressing an image of the Nebula and its stars; "and from
that stone they have been enabled to take impressions on paper,
unlimited in number, of singular beauty, and of perfect precision."
Experiments have, however, proved that "no heating power exists
in the moon's rays, and that lunar light will not act chemically
upon the iduret of silver."
It was at one time supposed that terrestrial or artificial light
possessed no chemical rays, but this is incorrect--Mr. Brande
discovered that although the concentrated light of the moon,
or the light even of olefiant gas, however intense, had no effect
on chloride of silver, or on a mixture of chloride and hydrogen,
yet the light emitted by electerized charcoal blackens the salt.
At the Royal Polytechnic Institution pictures have been taken
by means of sensitive paper acted upon by the Drummond Light;
but it must of course be distinctly understood, that they are inferior
to those taken by the light of the sun, or diffused daylight.
If our operators could manage to produce good pictures in this
way they would put money in their pockets, as many who cannot
find time during the day would resort to their rooms at night.
I throw out the hint in hopes some one will make the experiment.
I have learned, since the above was written, that an operator in Boston
succeeded a short time since in procuring very good pictures by the aid
of the Drummond Light; but that the intensity of the light falling directly
upon the sitter's face caused great difficulty, and he abandoned it.
This may, probably, be remedied by interposing a screen of very thin
tissue paper tinged slightly of a bluish color.
ON COLORING DAGUERREOTYPES.
Nearly, if not quite all the various colors used in painting may be made
from the five primitive colors, black, white, blue, red and yellow,
but for the Daguerrean artist it would be the best policy to obtain such
as are required by their art already prepared. In a majority of cases,
the following will be found sufficient, viz.
Chrome Yellow, Gamboge, Yellow Ochre; or all three.*
*Gamboge is best for drapery; Ochre for the face.
Bistre, or Burnt Umber.
If, in coloring any part of a lady's or gentleman's apparel,
it is found necessary to produce other tints and shades,
the following combinations may be used:
Orange--Mix yellow with red, making it darker or lighter by using
more or less red.
Purple--This is made with Prussian blue, or indigo and red.
Carmine and Prussian blue producing the richest color,
which may be deepened in the shadows by a slight addition
of indigo or brown.
Greens--Prussian blue and gamboge makes a very fine green, which may be varied
to suit the taste of the sitter or operator, by larger portions of either,
or by adding white, burnt sienna, indigo, and red, as the case may require.
These combinations, under different modifications, give almost endless
varieties of green.
Brown--May be made of different shades of umber, carmine and lamp-black.
Neutral tint--Is composed of indigo and lamp-black.
Crimson--Mix carmine and white, deepening the shaded parts of the picture
with additional carmine.
Flesh Color--The best representative of flesh color is light red,
brightened in the more glowing or warmer parts, with carmine,
softened off in the lighter portions with white, and shaded
with purple and burnt sienna.
Lead Color--Mix indigo and white in proportions to suit.
Scarlet--Carmine and light red.
For Jewelry cups of gold and silver preparations accompany each box
for Daguerreotypists, or may be procured separately.
The method of laying colors on Daguerreotypes is one of
considerable difficulty, inasmuch as they are used in the form
of perfectly dry impalpable powder. The author of this
little work is now experimenting, in order, if possible,
to discover some more easy, artistic and unexceptionable method.
If successful, the result will be published in a future edition.
The rules we shall give for coloring Daguerreotypes depends,
and are founded, upon those observed in miniature painting,
and are intended more as hints to Daguerrean artists, in hopes
of leading them to attempt improvements, than as instructions
wholly to be observed.
The writer is confident that some compound or ingredient may
yet be discovered which, when mixed with the colors, will give
a more delicate, pleasing, and natural appearance to the picture
than is derived from the present mode of laying them on,
which in his estimation is more like plastering than coloring.
IN COLORING DAGUERREOTYPES, the principal shades of the head
are to be made with bistre, mixed with burnt sienna,
touching some places with a mixture of carmine and indigo.
The flesh tints are produced by the use of light red,
deepened towards the shaded parts with yellow ochre,
blue and carmine mixed with indigo, while the warmer, or more
highly colored parts have a slight excess of carmine or lake.
Color the shades about the mouth and neck with yellow ochre,
blue, and a very little carmine, heightening the color
of the lips with carmine and light red, letting the light red
predominate on the upper, and the carmine on the lower lip;
the shades in the corner of the mouth being touched slightly
with burnt sienna, mixed with carmine.
In coloring the eyes, the artist will of course be guided by nature,
observing a very delicate touch in laying on the colors, so as to
preserve as much transparency as possible. A slight touch of blue--
ultramarine would be best if it would adhere to the Daguerreotype plate--
in the whites of the eye near the iris, will produce a good effect.
In coloring the heads of men it will be necessary to use the darker
tints with more freedom, according to the complexion of the sitter.
For women, the warmer tints should predominate, and in order
to give that transparency so universal with the softer sex--
and which gives so much loveliness and beauty to the face--
a little white may be judiciously intermingled with the red tints
about the lighter portions of the face.
In taking a picture of a lady with light or auburn hair,
by the Daguerrean process, much of the beauty of the face
is destroyed, on account of the imperfect manner in which light
conveys the image of light objects to the spectrum of the camera.
This may be obviated in some measure by proper coloring.
To do this, touch the shaded parts with burnt sienna and bistre,
filling up the lighter portions with yellow ochre, delicate
touches of burnt sienna, and in those parts which naturally
have a bluish tint, add very delicate touches of purple--
so delicate in fact as hardly to be perceived. The roots
of the hair at the forehead should also be touched with blue,
and the eyebrows near the temples made of a pinkish tint.
The chin of a woman is nearly of the same color as the cheeks in
the most glowing parts. In men it is stronger, and of a bluish tint,
in order to produce the effect given by the beard.
In portraits of women--the middle tints on the side of the light,
which are perceived on the bosom and arms, are made of a slight
mixture of ochre, blue and lake, (or carmine), to which add, on the
shaded sides, ochre, bistre and purple, the latter in the darker parts.
The tints of the hands should be the same as the other parts of the flesh,
the ends of the fingers being a little pinkish and the nails of a violet hue.
If any portion of the fleshy parts is shaded by portions of the dress,
or by the position of the hand, this shade should be colored with umber
mixed with purple.
TO COLOR THE DRAPERY.--Violet Velvet--Use purple made of Prussian
blue and carmine, touching up the shaded parts with indigo blue.
Green Velvet--Mix Prussian blue and red-orpiment, shade with purple,
and touch up the lights with a little white.
Red Velvet--Mix a very little brown with carmine, shading with purple,
marking the lights in the strongest parts with pure carmine, and touch
the most brilliant slightly with white.
White Feathers--May be improved by delicately touching
the shaded parts with a little blue mixed with white.
White muslin, linen, lace, satin, silk, etc., may also be
colored in the same way, being careful not to lay the color
on too heavily.
FURS--Red Furs may be imitated by using light red and a little masticot,
shaded with umber. Gray Furs--black and white mixed and shaded with bistre.
Sable--white shaded lightly with yellow ochre.
These few directions are quite sufficient for the art, and it
is quite unnecessary for me to pursue the subject further.
I would, however, remark that the Daguerreotypists would
find it greatly to their advantage to visit the studies
of our best artists, our public galleries of paintings,
and statuary, and wherever else they can obtain a sight
of fine paintings, and study the various styles of coloring,
atitudes, folds of drapery and other points of the art.
In coloring Daguerreotypes, artists will find the magnifying
glass of much advantage in detecting any imperfections in
the plate or in the image, which may be remedied by the brush.
In selecting brushes choose those most susceptible of a fine point,
which may be escertained by wetting them between the lips,
or in a glass of water.
The last number (for March, 1849) of the "London Art-Journal, gives the
following description of a recent improvement in Photographic Manipulation,
and as I am desirous of furnishing everything new in the art, I stop
the press to add it, entire, to my work.
"Since the photographic power of the solar rays bears no direct relation
to their luminous influence, it becomes a question of considerable
importance to those who practice the beautiful art of photography,
to have the means of readily measuring the ever changing activity
of this force. Several plans more or less successful, have been
devised by Sir John Herschel, Messrs. Jordan, Shaw and Hunt.
The instrument, however, which is now brought forward by Mr. Claudet,
who is well known as one of our most successful Daguerreotypists,
appears admirably suited to all those purposes which the practical
man requires. The great difficulty which continually annoys
the photographic amateur and artist, is the determination of
the sensibility of each tablet employed, relatively to the amount
of radiation, luminous and chemical, with which he is working.
With the photographometer of Mr. Claudet this is easily ascertained.
The following woodcuts and concise description will sufficiently
indicate this useful and simple apparatus.
"For an instrument of this kind it is important in the first
place to have a motion always uniform, without complicated
or expensive mechanism. This is obtained by means founded upon
the principle of the fall of bodies sliding down an inclined plane.
The sensitive surface is exposed to the light by the rapid and
uniform passage of a metal plate, A, B, (Fig. 31,) having openings
of different length, which follow a geometric progression.
It is evident that the exposure to light will be the same for
each experiment, because the plate furnished with the proportional
openings falls always with the same rapidity, the height of the fall
being constant, and the angle of the inclined plane the same.
Each opening of this moveable plate allows the light to pass
during the same space of time, and the effect upon the sensitive
surface indicates exactly the intensity of the chemical rays.
The rapidity of the fall may be augmented or diminished by altering
the inclination of the plane by means of a graduated arc, C, D,
(Fig. 30,) furnished with a screw, E, by which it may be fixed
at any angle. The same result may be obtained by modifying
the height of the fall or the weight of the moveable plate.
The photogenic surface, whether
it be the Daguerreotype plate, the Talbotype paper, or any other preparation
sensitive to light, is placed near the bottom of the inclined plane,
F. It is covered by a thin plate of metal, pierced with circular holes,
which correspond to the openings of the moveable plate at the moment
of the passage of the latter, during which the sensitive surface receives
the light wherever the circular holes leave it exposed.
"The part of the apparatus which contains the sensitive surface is
an independent frame, and it slides from a dark box into an opening
on the side of the inclined plane.
"A covering of black cloth impermeable to light is, attached to
the sides of the moveable plate, enveloping the whole inclined plane,
rolling freely over two rollers, R, R, placed the one at
the upper and the other at the lower part of the inclined plane.
This cloth prevents the light striking the sensitive surface
before and after the passage of the moveable plate.
"It will be seen that this apparatus enables the experimentalist
to ascertain with great precision the exact length of time
which is required to produce a given amount of actinic change upon
any sensitive photographic surface, whether on metal or paper.
Although at present some calculation is necessary to determine
the difference between the time which is necessary for exposure
in direct radiation, and to the action of the secondary radiations
of the camera obscura; this is, however, a very simple matter,
and it appears to us exceedingly easy to adapt an instrument
of this description to the camera itself.
"By this instrument Mr. Claudet has already determined many
very important points. Among others, he has proved that on
the most sensitive Daguerreotype plate an exposure of .0001
part of a second is sufficient to produce a decided effect.
"Regarding photography as an auxiliary aid to the artist
of no mean value, we are pleased to record a description
of an instrument which, without being complicated, promises to
be exceedingly useful. In this opinion we are not singular;
at a recent meeting of the Photographic Club, to which this
instrument was exhibited, it was with much real satisfaction
that we learned that several of our most eminent artists
were now eager and most successful students in Photography.
The beautiful productions of the more prominent members of this
club excited the admiration of all, particularly the copies of
architectural beauties, and small bits of landscape, by Messrs.
Cundell and Owen. We think that now the artist sees the advantage
he may derive from the aid of science, that both will gain
by the union."
I hope the above description will induce our townsman, Mr. Roach,
to successfully produce an instrument that will meet the wants
of our artists in that part of the Daguerrean process referred to.