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'The Beacon' and 'Practical Photographer'

James Ross

Printing Methods

James Ross (whom I have assumed to be the Edinburgh professional photographer, James Ross) wrote an article for The Beacon entitled 'Printing Methods'

It was reproduced in The Practical Photographer in 1892, under the title 'To Drive Dull Trade Away'. 

Commenting on photographic processes, he said:

Printing Methods

"Ninety-nine percent of ... prints are today produced made in the same way with the same material, that they were made a quarter of a century ago;  a method that was condemned on its advent, and has been abused ... ever since.

Negatives of all kinds and qualities are printed on the same paper,  toned in the solution to a particular colour that may for the time being be the fad of the operator, and have imparted to them the same meretricious gloss that pleases the vulgar and the uncultured, but saddens the truly artistic soul.

As a means of raising photography to the position it should occupy, silver printing, in almost all the forms in which it is at present practised, should be relegated to the pettifoggers who cater to the great uncultured at prices only a little in advance of the cost of the material; and those who have brains and know how to employ them so as to produce pictures worthy of preservation should adopt one or other; or, better still, arrange so as to be in a position to work all of those printing methods that, while they yield prints that are things of beauty, are also joys forever."

[The Beacon; reproduced in The Practical Photographer -  1 May 1892, p.119-121]





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