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.
Admitting Windows Into The View. The admission of windows into the view frequently enhances the appearance of a room, giving it a more natural and cheerful appearance. The most pleasing interiors are those wherein some windows are shown in the picture. This can be successfully accomplished if the proper methods are employed for the exposure and development of the plate.
97. An ordinary plate may be employed, but a non-halation, or backed plate, would further enhance the results. Even with specially prepared plates, however, if you were to expose and develop in the ordinary way, you would meet with failures. But, by following a special method of exposure and development excellent results may be secured and halation avoided.
Time Of Day To Make Interiors. Always make exposures when the light is most strong and evenly distributed. Rooms having windows facing north are best photographed at the noon hour; exposures of those facing the east are better if made in the afternoon. A more subdued light throughout the room is obtainable at this time than could be secured in the forenoon. Rooms facing west photograph best in the morning, or toward noontime. In fact, around the noon hour presents the best time for all interiors, as the sun being higher at this time, supplies more even illumination. By observing the light at various hours in the day, you can determine when the strongest light is to be obtained in the room to be photographed.
Sun Shining On Windows. If it is necessary to make an exposure when the sun is shining through the windows, subdue the light on the windows supplying the illumination, by tacking cheese-cloth, or white muslin, over the outside of the window. This will avoid harsh highlights and dense shadows, because the developed plate will be exactly as the room appears. If the light is quite evenly distributed the negative will produce this result; if the lighting is contrasty the results will also be contrasty. If you cannot diffuse the sunlight in this way, and must make the exposure with the sun shining in the window, at least do not place the camera so the sun will shine toward it. Place the camera so the sun will light the rear of the view. This direction of light will supply more illumination to the shadows.
Windows In View. When windows are to appear in the general view, raise the shades, leaving only the lace curtains at the windows, thus admitting the maximum amount of desirable light into the room. Of course the angle of light should lead from you. It must be understood that in admitting windows into the view the main source of light should be received from windows other than those appearing in the view, because the inside of the windows must receive some illumination. Then, too, if the only source of light came from the windows in the view, the light would throw shadows toward the view point, which, reproduced without proper detail, would appear smudgy. For this reason the shadows must be illuminated either by a window, or other source of light, back of, or at the side of, the camera.