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.
The Lens Hood. A lens hood is useful to shield the lens from any light that may reflect from either side. Although it may not come within the angle of view it is likely to cause "flare" or "ghost" images through reflection in the lens. For this purpose prepare a small cardboard cone to fit over the lens barrel. It must be of sufficient size to exclude all reflected light. For the average lens a cone about 4 inches long and wide enough at the mouth to keep outside the angle of view, is sufficient. See Illustration No. 49.
Wet Weather. When working in wet weather a waterproof cover is necessary for the camera. Care must also be taken to keep moisture off the front of the lens. The lens may be wiped with a soft cloth kept for the purpose.
The Lens. Any lens may be employed for making night pictures. In fact the ordinary rapid rectilinear lens will answer every purpose and produce remarkably fine effects. The only advantage of a rapid lens is the decreased amount of exposure, but whatever lens may be employed the aperture best suited for work of this nature is F. 11 or U. S. 8. Where objects in the view are situated at considerable distance from each other it may be necessary to stop down to F. 16 or even F. 32. There is much less danger of halation if the lights which are included in the view are focused sharply.
Making Exposure. Where there is no necessity of closing the lens during the exposure, to avoid moving bright lights coming into the view and effecting the plate, the ordinary shutter may be employed. When photographing street scenes, automobile, street car or bicycle lights may suddenly enter in field of view. Where your camera is not fitted with an automatic shutter, you should then cover the lens with the cap, your hand, hat, or any other similar object. It is even possible to work without a shutter at all, simply withdrawing the slide from the plate holder and thus exposing the sensitive plate. Whenever an objectionable object comes within the field of view the slide of the holder may be placed in front of the lens until the light has disappeared; then, you may proceed with the exposure. When the so-called regular shutter is used, there is danger of moving the camera when resetting the shutter. Therefore, it is far better to work without a shutter than to run chances of having your results spoiled by moving the camera.
Plates For Night Photography. The quicker the plate the better, although any plate, fast or slow, may be employed. It is advisable to use a double coated non-halation or backed plate. A slight amount of halation is really necessary for pictorial purposes, except when enlarging is resorted to, for then the halation magnifies with the enlargement.
Selection Of Point Of View. In choosing the point of view there are certain things which should not be overlooked. In the first place, the nearest and brightest light; whether it is objectionable, and if so, how to avoid it. It goes without saying that you should photograph street scenes at a time in the evening when all of the stores are illuminated. As the ordinary figures which move about on the streets will not affect your working, it is advisable to make exposures as early in the evening as possible, for then you will be sure that all of the lights will be burning. Lights from electric cars, automobiles, bicycles, and other forms of similar traffic should be watched for, and whenever they enter the field of view immediately cap the lens or place some object in front of the lens, so that the bright lights will not effect the sensitive plate. If these lights appear and the lens is left open, the plate will be crossed by numerous black lines, which will look like scratches, or telegraph wires.