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.
Obtaining Sufficient Angle Of View In Narrow Streets. If the street is a narrow one and you are using a rectilinear lens - the majority of view outfits are fitted with these lenses - it will be impossible to overcome this difficulty. You can, however, procure a lens attachment for shortening the focus of the lens and give a wider angle, or you can purchase a regular wide-angle lens. By placing the attachment on your regular lens the size of the image will be reduced and the view can be obtained on the plate without any crowding.
Too Much Foreground. This is usually caused by the camera being tilted downward in place of being level. If the camera is level, and yet too much foreground is seen, this difficulty can be readily overcome by the use of the rising front to which the lens is attached. By raising it you will obtain more sky. If the camera does not possess the rising front, extend the whole tripod and draw the legs closer together thus raising the camera.
Too Much Sky. Camera pointed up too much. By dropping the rising front more foreground can be secured, hence less sky; or the whole tripod can be lowered if the camera does not possess the rising and falling front.
Plates Sticking In The Holder. This will happen sometimes when using new plate holders, or if the plate is a little large or made of thick glass. The latter trouble will not be experienced if high grade plates are used, as reliable plates are coated on specially prepared glass which is very thin. By pushing down the spring on which the plate rests and tapping the plate holder gently on the back, the plate will generally fall out. Tapping the end of the holder, containing the spring, on your hand or the edge of the table - at the same time tilting the open side of the holder forward - will cause the plate to drop out into your hand. Practice this latter method - outside of the dark-room - with an old plate, until you understand and can accomplish the removal of the plate with ease.
Unable To Tell Which Is The Film Side Of The Plate. Plates of American manufacture are always packed face to face, the top one being face down. The face or film side has a dull appearance when viewed by reflected light, while the back or glass side is glossy. Dampen your finger and place it on the extreme corner of the plate - the sticky side is the film side. CAUTION - Never touch either side of the plate; always handle it by the edges.
Distinguishing Exposed And Unexposed Plates When Mixed. There might be a time when you happen to place exposed and unexposed plates together, or you might fail to turn the slides properly after making the exposure, and thus be in doubt as to which of the plates have been used. Exposed and unexposed plates have the same appearance to the eye before development. In order to avoid spoiling all plates by developing them in trying to ascertain which have been exposed, dip your finger in the prepared developing solution and apply it to the corner of the plate. If within a minute's time there should be no darkening of this portion, try another plate in the same way. The plates affected by the developer are, of course, the ones exposed, and you can proceed to develop them as usual, replacing, for further use, those not affected. Judicious application of the developer to the corner of the plate will not spoil the plate - at least, this method is a much better one to follow than to develop all plates in order to find the right one and lose the unexposed plates altogether.