Hand camera work is, however, essentially out-of-door photography, and light conditions are considerably more equable, and a little judgment, coupled with the high excellence and wonderful latitude in exposure that the modern day plate gives, makes it hardly necessary at the outset to advise the beginner for ordinary work to use an actinometer. Instead, however, there are many small useful pocket-books on the market which contain amongst other information tables that give the light values for each month; such a one is Wellcome's " Photographic Exposure Record".
To the beginner it will be found of material assistance, exceedingly simple, and with a little judicious allowance for the varying conditions of subject, distinctly helpful as a guide toward a correct exposure. Here, for instance, is an example of the light table for May :—
Sun through light clouds
9 A.M. to 3 P.M. .
8 A.M. and 4 P.M.
7 A.M. and 5 P.M.
These are the approximate exposures that would be required with an " ordinary" plate and a lens working at f 8; the subject to be photographed being described as one having a strong foreground, i.e. a good deal of shadow near to the camera. With the plates of a speed that one would probably use in a hand camera—say Barnet Extra Rapid— the exposure would only be one quarter as long for the same subject, and if as well as the more rapid plate the subject itself was, we will say, a snapshot of figures on an open space without much dark shadows, a still greater reduction in exposure would take place. The principles of exposure are the same whether a hand camera or stand camera be used, and are treated at greater length in the article on Negative Making.
Knowing the aperture of your lens, the speed of your shutter, and the rapidity of the plate you are using, it now needs but reference to your " light table " for the month and hour to determine what length of time shall be given that will ensure correct exposure for any given subject.
Having found this correct exposure, the greatest difficulty toward producing a good negative is overcome. Other writers in this book will refer more specifically to the development of the negative, so that it is not proposed to give here any but a very brief description of this perhaps most interesting phase in photographic procedure. To those who are not developing their own exposed plates or films, let it be said at once and plainly that they are deliberately foregoing one of the chief pleasures connected with turning their photographic work to pictorial account. To watch a correctly exposed plate developing is a pleasure that never palls even on the oldest workers, and is the consummation that repays one many times for the trouble which making the exposure has involved.
Development is not difficult, and although, as time goes on, the worker as he becomes more experienced will use different developers for different subjects, it is not advisable for the beginner to vary his developer until he has gained sufficient knowledge to know when this course is advantageous. As a developer, a solution of Adurol can be strongly recommended. Properly compounded there is nothing messy or staining with it, and for ordinary everyday out-of-door work development may be purely mechanical. Such a solution is made up as follows :—
Carbonate of soda.....5 oz.
Sulphate of soda.....2 1/2 oz.
When dissolved add :—
Adurol.......1/2 oz. then filter through blotting paper and mark bottle.
For use one part to seven parts of water.
This, if properly compounded, will give a clean bright solution, and will keep for a considerable time, and in prolonged development will show no tendency to stain. As hand camera exposures generally betray a tendency to under exposure, the metol and hydroquinone one solution developer given in "Negative-Making " deserves attention on account of its energy, whilst time or factorial development offers especial advantage in hand camera work.
As probably the greater proportion of the readers of this short article are those to whom the summer holiday is or will be the most prolific in exposed negatives, some little space may be devoted to the preparations needful before starting on one's holiday. You are going away for a more or less extended period, and with your camera you are taking some dozens of plates or films; it will also be necessary, if you are trying to do intelligent work, to take one or two little etceteras that may save you later on many heartburnings. First of all be sure and take a small lamp—a fabric one that will fold up and burning a small night light will do, such a one costing but a shilling—some elastic bands, and some light-proof paper. If the photographer is especially methodical he may also take the few necessaries for developing and fixing one or two trial plates, so that he may see that everything is working satisfactorily. Owing to neglect of this the writer's holiday negatives were all fogged owing to a slight damage, unseen, to the shutter, which in the bright sunshine of June allowed just sufficient light through to effectually fog some six dozen negatives; had a plate been developed this fault would have been at once discovered and easily remedied. A spool of film may become jambed owing to uneven winding, and a dark room lamp become to the daylight loading man an unexpected necessity.
In changing plates at night time the ordinary bedroom will do, taking care to see that no bright light, such as a gleam under the door or through the window from a gas jet outside, is in a direct line with the plates. Always pack the plates film to film, wrapped in their original papers and placed in their empty box; make a distinctive note on the box as to where the plates were exposed, and an outline of subjects, thus :—
Wednesday, June 16. " Groups on Pier and Promenade." Diffused light, /8, ^th second.