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.
Sectional Detail. It is many times desirable to show certain portions or features of a residence or other building, such as gables, doors, windows, porches, pillars and their capitals, as well as various ornaments and carvings. In a later chapter architectural detail will be treated upon fully.
94. In Illustration No. 11 is shown the entrance to a library. The object of taking this particular view was to show the entrance, also the gable construction. Notice that this view was made when the sun was shining brightly, thus casting heavy shadows, falling at an angle of about 45°. The proper exposure, however, was given and the plate correctly developed so that there is detail in both shadows and high-lights. The shadows are not flat and lifeless, nor are the high-lights hard and chalky.
Practice Work - Exterior Architectural Photography. It is almost impossible to give any definite advice regarding the selection of the subject. Generally speaking, however, one should always take a general view of the scene which is to be photographed, and not hurry to make an exposure before being absolutely certain that the best point of view and best light conditions have been chosen.
96. When photographing residences there are many things to take into consideration: In the first place, consider the purpose or use of the picture. Is it to be used as an artistic architectural view, or is it to be used for detail construction work, or to show the building with general surroundings, giving a truthful representation of the building and its location? The purpose for which the picture is intended has much to do with the selection of the viewpoint. In all cases consider any obstructions, such as trees, telephone poles, fences, etc., which may be in front of the building to be photographed. Try to avoid these as much as possible. Study the building itself and see which side shows the strongest architectural features and presents the most pleasing general outline with the least number of long parallel lines coming into prominence.
97. When possible you should study the lighting effect on the building at various times of the day, and ascertain what time of day is best at which to make the exposure. Bear in mind that long perpendicular shadows on the building tend to exaggerate the height while horizontal shadows exaggerate the breadth. When necessary to produce harsh effects or increase the contrast, a bright, sunshiny day should be chosen. When softness is necessary, and you desire to flatten the appearance of the subject to a certain extent, a cloudy or dull day should be chosen in which to make the exposure. Under no circumstances, however, should you have a flat result. Relief and roundness are extremely essential features, and the light should fall (in the majority of cases at least) so as to more strongly illuminate the portion of the residence or building nearest the camera.