PRINTING The printing-room of a commercial studio is by far the most important T part of the entire outfit—important in that it is the department from which comes the finished product for the customer and is considered by many of the leaders as the most profitable department of the business, and, for that reason, should be thoroughly and properly equipped with good ventila tion and the best possible apparatus, as well as laid out conveniently for heavy work.
There has been, from the time the photographic business first started, more or less friction between the operating and printing departments, the operator blaming the printer for not turning out good prints and the printer blaming the operator for not sending in good negatives, all of which should be done away with, as it is up to all concerned to help in turning out the best possible prints and make money for yourself, if you are in business, or make money for your employer if you are working for others, and which cannot be accom plished if there is continual dissension.
The main consideration in the printing-room is the printing machine. There are about as many different kinds of printing machines as there are studios. Each and every commercial photographer having his some one idea as to the best printing machine; about the only quality agreed on by all of them being that there must be absolute control of the light. Faking and dodging must be easy and fairly fast and absolute contact must be had. About as good a machine as there is now on the market is the Foliner & Schwing professional printer, Figure No. 72, most commercial photographers using the No. 2, although as above mentioned, many make their own machines.
Just a word about the kind of prints wanted in the commercial line. Portrait photographers' prints are considered good when they tend just a little bit toward the olive, warm browns and some of them make a lot of sepias. A commercial print, to reproduce well and to match up with commercial prints from other parts of the country which the customer may have, should never be green or olive, but a pure black and white, what some of you may call a cold blue-black, and should have detail all through, be snappy and brilliant, but not harsh or contrasty, and, for most cases, wilI be wanted on glossy paper.
The reason so much commercial stuff is on glossy paper is that a glossy print shows inore detail and when it is wanted for reproduction purposes, there is no liability of picking up the grain of the paper.
But, of late years, many of the commercial studios, especially' those inaking prints for salesmen's sample books, are using more and more papers like Azo E, double-weight and other seini-matt and semi-gloss papers, as they do away with the one big bugaboo of the commercial plant, squeegeeing and mounting on muslin.
For outside work, many of the better studios today are using sepia prints with tinted in borders, very much the same as the high-grade portrait men are using—also, there is a great deal of carbon green being used for prints from negatives of out-door scenery.
It is just as well to get away from glossy prints where others arc per missible and you can do it at a profit, for it makes the work turned out from your studio more distinctive than where everything is done on glossy paper.
The commercial printer of a few years ago, using printing out paper, had but one speed, to which he had to bring all of his negatives. Today, we have many speeds and contrasts and surfaces. In fact, there is practically no limit to what can be done. We have the four different contrasts of Azo paper line, for instance, soft, hard, hard medium and hard X, as well as Argo, Cyko and the Haloid Industro, all of which have their particular adaptability and their individual peculiarities make them very desirable in obtaining the best results from any and all negatives. However, in making a print from a negative, keep towards the soft end as much as possible, as it is there that you get the long scale of tones and better gradations all through the print, one of the points that distinguishes a good workman from a poor one.