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.
Moving Objects. In snapping moving subjects - and such pictures always have a high value in the news-editor's eyes - one must govern his control of the camera and the swiftness of the shot by the position and motion of the subject. One may be endeavoring, for instance, to snap a prominent man, a notorious criminal, or a principal in a celebrated divorce case. It is much better to catch the subject coming toward the camera, for a longer exposure may be given. When snapping a person moving across the camera's vision the shot must be made more rapidly, and unless the light conditions are good, satisfactory results cannot always be obtained. It is especially desirable to get in front of the subject on dark days or when working in corridors, narrow streets or elsewhere in a poor light.
Flashlight Pictures. In making flashlight pictures it is best not to have the lamp on or too near the camera; when people are thus photographed, gazing directly at lamp and camera, their faces usually show ghastly and with strained expressions. If you have only one lamp, place it several feet to one side of the camera, or as far away as six feet if the light from the lamp is strong enough. Whenever possible, it is best to use two lamps, a smaller one beside the camera and the other some six, eight, or more feet to one side. These are flashed simultaneously. It is well to practice making flashlight pictures; photographs of happenings at night very often prove of immense value to newspapers.
Finishing Negatives. When there is plenty of time, the photographer doing work for a paper in another city finishes the work himself; but it is seldom he has time for this. The majority simply send in the plates and let them be developed in the newspaper office. Nearly all staff photographers sent out from the home office do this.
Label Each Plate. It must be borne in mind that each plate must be distinctly numbered or labeled, so that it may be identified by means of the explanatory letter, telegram or telephone message the photographer sends. The identifying caption should be explicit; not merely " Street Scene in Scranton," but "Scene of Masonic Parade at First Street and B Avenue."
Intelligent Systematic Work Counts. To be successful, the newspaper photographer must carefully study his camera and become capable of getting the best work out of it; he must attend to orders promptly and be quick to seize the possibilities for making sales; above all, he should get "action," "life" and "dramatic interest" into his pictures. Always endeavor to get the plates to the awaiting newspaper as far in advance of press time as possible, as each news-editor likes time to arrange for a striking "layout" of his illustrations by the office artist force.
Key To Class Of Pictures Demanded. Watch carefully the big newspapers that use illustrations freely. Observe the kind of pictures to which they seem partial and you will soon learn how to please. And bear in mind that one picture of human interest - something with life and a story in it - is worth a dozen photos of buildings, monuments and other inanimate objects.