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.
Illustration No. 45 - See Paragraph No. 502.
Illustration No. 46 THE PLAZA By A. STIEGLITZ.
See Paragraph No. 508
Taken in 1896 with Goerz Dagor No. 2 (F: 6.8) at full aperture. 10 P M. Exposure: I minute the direction of the prevailing flashes and uncap the lens when you expect a flash is likely to occur. Forked lightning only should be photographed. Sheet lightning only fogs the plate. As soon as you are certain that a flash has been obtained, cap the lens. For an example of a lightning flash, see Illustration 45.
Illuminations. The greatest difficulty in photographing illuminations is to find a place unobstructed by the crowd. Illuminated buildings, such as one sees at exhibitions, make excellent photographs; but there is too much symmetry and over-abundance of design to make them really pictorial. A common mistake in photographing illuminations is over-exposure. Some little detail between the lights is essential. One does not care to see simply row upon row of fairy lamps with nothing in the view to support them. Neither do you want to see these lamps with a large halo surrounding them. Using a rapid plate and stop F. 11, an exposure of not more than 3 minutes should be given and if you are very close to the illumination half this time is sufficient. Each lamp possesses very little actinic quality and taken individually would have little effect upon the photographic plate; but collectively they supply an abundance of illumination.
Conflagrations. When a person has the opportunity to photograph a large fire it should be grasped. A quick plate with as large an aperture as possible, will allow of an exposure being made in from 3 to 10 minutes, according to the light, providing the stop be not smaller than F. 8. The color of the illumination produced by the flame being more of the orange or red, is less actinic than electric light. Besides the actual conflagration itself, there are many little bits here and there that may be secured, fire engines for instance.
Iron Foundries, Store Fronts. Unless worked in conjunction with a flashlight, interiors of iron foundries and blast furnaces are of very little value as subjects. So much of the light is red or yellow, with more heat than actinic rays, that, to obtain a good photograph, it is necessary to use a flashlight arranged to allow the shadows to fall with the furnace lights. To throw shadows in the same direction as those cast by the molten metal, as it comes from the furnace, will necessitate the placing of the flash to one side of the furnace, but out of the range of the lens. Distant views are not very interesting, but may be taken in much the same way as ordinary street scenes. Large store fronts, even if well lighted, cannot be said to make artistic pictures; but, looking at it from an advertising point of view, it is surprising more firms do not have their window displays photographed when fully lighted at night. "With a rapid plate and F. 16 stop, an exposure of from 5 to 10 minutes will suffice. See paragraph No. 529, Page 237.