This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Introduction. The principles embodied in commercial photography out-of-doors are exactly the same as those on which instruction was given in Volume III, but the commercial features are entirely technical, the artistic side demanding very little consideration. It is quite true, however, that the laws of balance and light and shade should be borne in mind, and the subject composed and lighted so as to produce the best general effect. In this chapter are supplied numerous illustrations showing different conditions under which the photographs were made. These illustrations should serve to materially assist the student in the photographing of this class of subjects.
Residences. In photographing residences it is absolutely essential that all of the strong points of the architecture be shown. Frequently trees and shrubbery will interfere, making it difficult to show the building properly. In such a case, if it is possible, the photograph should be made at a season of the year when the leaves are off the trees. An example of a residence photographed under these conditions is shown in Illustration No. 2. With the trees in full foliage it was absolutely impossible to secure a picture of this residence, unless an extremely wide-angle lens was employed, and even then the smaller trees occupied undesirable positions, necessitating a point of view to be chosen which would not show the building to its best advantage. Although some of the finer qualities have been lost in the half-tone reproduction, you will notice that there is full detail in the highest points of light, as well as in the deepest shadows.
70. The angle at which the light falls and the portion of the building receiving the strongest light are extremely important factors to be taken into consideration. There are times when it is advisable to photograph a building on a cloudy day, when there is a soft, delicate light. Then again, not only more pleasing, but far better technical results will be secured when the light is really bright - in fact, when the sun shines and casts quite heavy shadows. Shadows falling horizontally, or quite nearly so, tend to exaggerate the breadth of a structure. The height, on the other hand, will be exaggerated when the shadows fall perpendicularly. Shadows falling diagonally on the building will produce various effects, much depending upon the lines of the building itself.
71. The residence shown in Illustration No. 2 was photographed quite late in the afternoon, as will be seen by the direction in which the shadows fall. This time of day was chosen because it was desired not to exaggerate the height of the residence. This lighting gives a most truthful rendering of this particular structure. The point of view from which the exposure was made was such as to show the principal features of the architecture. If taken so as to show the opposite side of the house, the result would not have been so pleasing, as that side is quite plain and has an objectionable chimney on the outside of the wall, which, with its parallel lines running from the ground to the top, was undesirable.
72. Notice that the small tree trunk, which is almost in the center of the foreground, and just outside of the walk, does not hide the corner of the bay-window. If the camera had been placed but a very few inches to the right, this tree would have hidden the corner line of the building, and thus have destroyed a feature of the architecture. In the position it occupies, the tree is not at all objectionable.
73. An important consideration, when making photographs of residences, is to see that the shades on the windows are properly adjusted. As a rule, the shades should be raised half-way, so that their lower edge will come directly opposite the middle sashes. To have the shades
drawn at different lengths mars the general appearance of the house. The lace curtains on the window should be arranged to hang gracefully. In fact, everything should appear just as natural as possible.
Photo by T. E. Dillon Illustration No. 2 Residence See Paragraph 60.
Photo by T E;. Dillon Illustration No. 3 Residence See Paragraph 75.
74. When it is desired to photograph a residence to show its architectural construction only, it is advisable to secure the picture as soon after the residence is completed as possible, for then there will be few, if any, trees to obstruct the view. The lawn and surroundings, however, should be cleared and made to look as neat and tidy as possible; for, if boxes, trestles, planks, and other objectionable objects occupy a position in the foreground, they will detract from the building to such an extent as to render the photograph entirely undesirable and of little or no value for the purpose intended. Anything which will detract from the residence itself should be removed, if possible. If this cannot be done, a time of day should be chosen when the objectionable feature will be in shadow and, therefore, attracts little attention.
75. Two residences of almost identical architectural design are shown in Illustrations 3 and 4. The one, however, is of wood, painted white, while the other (Illustration No. 4) is of cream colored brick, and it was, therefore, necessary to have a different lighting for each.
76. When photographing the residence shown in Illustration No. 3, which is built on quite an elevation, a low view-point was necessary in order to show the strongest features of the architectural design and include the general surroundings. Had this picture been made under a clouded sky, the building would have appeared flat, as well as broad and squatty. A time of day was, therefore, chosen when the sun was quite high; thus the cornice and trimmings cast long perpendicular shadows on the building, which gave the impression of more height. If the sun had been low the shadows would have been cast horizontally, causing the building to be exaggerated in width and appear quite squatty.