My dear Sir,
I said nothing about the seeds <2> in my late letters – because I had then no reply to my request addressed to a friend in Sicily to send me some – but he now writes that he is collecting for me: & the moment I receive them I will send them to you through my Brother <3> in London. – Those enclosed herewith are the "wild Lupin" – which grows, alone, in the higher regions of Etna, & in the loose, dusty lava.
Do let me ask you one more question, in addition to the many impertinent ones I have lately ventured –
When the sky of the negatives is not sufficiently dark to keep that of the possitives clean & clear, is it allowable to give it a coat of Indian ink <4> – or may the negatives be so sharpened, & touched over in faint points?
I have sometimes found that 50 grs of nit. silv. <5> to 1 oz, will give a good possitive copy, one coat only laid on – sometimes it takes 2 coats – almost always in fact – & nothing less than 200 grs to 1 oz. will do certainly with one coat – How is that?
I enclose 2 specimens of my possitive: – No 1 paper <6> salted ½ minute – one coat of nit. silv. 80 grs to oz. –
No 2. same, with 2 coats of nit. silv. same strength
Neither of them act – only washed in 3 hot waters – But perhaps these specimens will lead your judgment in advising me how to proceed. –
I am now taking on board the Steamer, which sails tonight, the parcel containing 73 negatives which I direct to you under cover to Mr Nile, the Secty or Agent for the Oriental steamer to Southampton – I have begd him to get this through the Custom House, & to forward them to your address – but perhaps it would be well to write to him, instructing him how to forward them to you – & that he may inform you when sent.
Excuse this, my dear Sir, this hasty & impatient scrawl, & pray believe me
Geo W Bridges
3. John W. Bridges.
4. Rev Calvert Richard Jones (1802–1877), Welsh painter & photographer had also had problems with photographing the sky and had applied a similar solution. See Larry J. Schaaf, Sun Pictures Catalogue Five: The Reverend Calvert R. Jones (New York: Hans P. Kraus, Jr., 1990), p. 31. [See also Doc. No: 05185].
5. Silver nitrate.
6. This was WHFT's original Photogenic Drawing process, a simple print-out process ideal for making prints from calotype negatives.