Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/426

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412
PROCESS


Photographic Journal, vol. xx. No. II). The preparation of these colour-filters calls for great perfection of uality in the materials employed, and great accuracy in the using of them. The glass, whether for the dry or wet filter, must be absolutely flat as to its surface, and its two sides must be absolutely parallel. In the wet filter the glasses forming the sides of the cell or trough must be parallel to each other.

Coloured glass is sometimes used in combination with the tinted collodion, but there is no particular advantage in this, because two glasses are always used in the making of a filter, and each one may, if desired, be coated with different dyes and afterwards cemented to ether with Canada balsam.

gfhe following dyes or their equivalents form a basis for nearly all three-colour filters:-

Brilliant green.

Brilliant yellow.

Cochineal red.

Brilliant yellow.

Methyl violet.l

Naphthol green.

For the red printing negative

blue, ,,

yellow, . ..,

The first dye named is the base colour in each case, the second is employed in small proportions to produce the required modification of tint.

The theory of the three-colour process is that the same three colours shall be used for the printing of every subject; and there is no doubt that if the filtration were perfect and the printing inks absolutely pure, the theory would work out fairly correctly in practice; but there is room for improvement in both these matters, and it is therefore often found desirable to print special subjects with special pigments, which makes it difficult to print several subjects together. Special care is called for on the part of the N d f printer. There must be the most perfect register of C” fs' the three subjects, otherwise a blurred effect results; Pye" there must be constant watchfulness to see that " ng' there is no excess of ink of any one colour, or the whole scheme of colour will be destroyed. This three-colour process has been a rather long time in establishing itself and nothing has so tended to retard it as bad printing. Good blocks have been obtainable, but in the hands of ordinary printers they have yielded but indifferent results. It is hardly to be expected that the untrained eye of the ordinary printer should be successful where the work requires the cultivated judgment of an artist. There is one other necessity for success in all tone relief work, and that is the use of the right uality of paper and ink. The blocks are so delicate they soon %ll up if an excess of ink is used. Ink ofagood quality can be used in much less quantity than common kinds, but it must bg: impressed upon paper t at is sympathetic and will “ bear out ” t e in .

The best results can be obtained only with the use of what is known as “ coated " paper. It is a paper which, after manufacture, is passed through a bath of a preparation of china clay, which by means of brushes is rubbed into the surface of the paper. When dry the surface takes a high polish, and' is sensitive to the smallest amount of ink. The polish of this coated paper is objectionable to many readers of illustrated books, and the clay adds considerably to the weight. Paper makers are, however, supplying a dull surfaced highly calendered rag paper which is very good for artistic and scientific illustrations and obviates both the glossy surface and the supposed lack of permanency of chrorno paper. 2. Intaglio Processes.-An intaglio engraving is one in which the printing surface is sunk below the surrounding -portions of the plate; the lines or dots-pressed, cut or bitten into the surface -holding the ink which is to be impressed upon the paper when the original surface of the plate is wiped clean. The old fashioned steel engraving may be taken as the type of an intaglio plate, in which the lines which printed were cut into the surface of the plate, instead of being left standing up in relief, as in the case of a wood engraving.

“ Photogravure ” is the name by which the many processes are generally known by means of which intaglio engravings are made mechanically, “ heliogravure ” being another name for the process, or special application of it. Photogravure reproduces the tones of photographs or drawings, and gives the nearest approach to a facsimile reproduction that has yet-been arrived at. Gelatin bichromatized is the medium by means of which the photogravure plate is produced; but as the screen is not used in ordinary work, it is necessary to produce an ink-holding grain in some way upon the plate. This is done by allowing a cloud of bitumen dust, raised inside a box, to settle upon the surface of a copper plate; it is hxed by heat, which, though insufficient to melt it, is enough to attach the fine grains to the plate. Over this prepared surface is laid the film of bichromatized gelatin, upon which is printed the subject through a glass positive; the usual hardening process takes place by the action of light, followed by a washing out of the unhardened portions of the gelatin. The plate is exposed to the action of ferric chloride, which attacks it most strongly in the least exposed parts, but which cannot eat it away in broad flat masses of dark, even in the non-exposed portions, owing to the existence of the bitumen granulation, which ensures the keeping of a grained surface even in the darkest passages.

Photogravure is a costly process to employ for illustration. The plates have to be printed slowly, with much hand work, as in the case of etchings. It is the printing that makes its use expensive, .rather than the making of the plates; and as each plate must be printed separately and on special paper, it cannot be employed with type, like relief blocks.

There is much uncertainty about the production of plates by the photogravure method; and although great improvements have been made in the process, it is often necessary to produce several plates before a satisfactory one is obtained. In all these reproductive processes the more artistic the Workman the better the result; this is especially true of photogravure, in which the aim is to come very much nearer to the original work of the artist designer than in the less perfect processes. The method of Rousillon, which was adopted by Goupil in the production of photogravure plates in the early days of the process, was to prepare the surface of the plate with a secret preparation of certain salts, which crystallized under the action that when exposed under the negative the surface of light, so

was broken up by this crystallization more or less, according to of light the negative permitted to reach it. The the amount

plate with its crystallized surface was then electrotypes, and the electrotype was the plate used for printing. It was a deposit process, as opposed to an etching process.

Photogravure plates are made also by the use of the grain screen, in which the reticulations of the screen take the 'place of the bitumen powder in producing a grain; it is the inversion of the method by means of which points and lines are produced in the relief block. It has not, however, come mucliinto favour, probably owing to the greater coarseness of the grain and the consequent loss of softness in the tones. An application of this method has, however, been made in the development known as the Rembrandt intaglio process. It is a secret process; but the secret lies more in the press by which Re, -, ,|, ,-, ,, ,4¢ the plates are printed than in the plates themselves, lnfazliv which are intaglio plates made with a very fine screen P"°"°“° and bent to a cylinder. The attempt to print photogravure plates by machinery was given up because the plates were so shallow they would not stand the wear and tear, and their life was too short and the results too indifferent; but the use of the grain screen renders possible stronger, deeper plates, that will stand harder wear. There is little doubt that the machine used is some form of the machine used to print wall-papers, in which there is a central cylinder engraved with the design, inked by rollers with which it comes in contact. The ink not only fills up the intaglio or sunk portion which has to print the design, but covers as well the whole surface of the plate. To clean this surface, leaving ink only in the sunk dots and lines, another metal cylinder is employed, ground and grooved somewhat like the shaft of the common steel of the dinner table used to sharpen knives, the grooved surface of which, passing over the engraved cylinder, scrapes clean its inked surface, leaving ink only in the sunk portions, which will, as the cylinder comes in contact with the paper, deposit itself and print the picture. The results produced by the Rembrandt intaglio process are softer and smoother than those given by photogravure, and they are free from the gritty qualities which occasionally characterize photogravure; but they lack the brilliancy and .depth of the latter. The process on the whole is less costly to use, mainly because the printing is so much more rapid, and is turned out by a. machine instead of by hand.

A method of printing intaglio plates made from a screen