For general use a good circular spirit-level, accurately screwed on the top of the "body" of the camera, that is, the frame which carries the reversing back, is all that is required in this direction. But in cases where the back is likely to be used tilted (as when we come to deal with telephoto work) a T or double-tube level will be preferable. Occasionally a level suitably mounted for placing against the focussing screen and back of camera may be of assistance.
Some workers make a point of recommending a large and heavy tripod; but, used with care, the ordinary tripods supplied with camera sets are, as a rule, sufficiently rigid.
To the careful worker the photography of exteriors will present few difficulties. It is often better to be content with taking portions of a building than to crowd the whole of it on to the plate by means of a very wide-angle lens, most architectural subjects requiring plenty of foreground. The camera should not be placed directly opposite to the subject (unless "elevation" records are wanted), but rather to one side. Care should be taken that the back of the camera is perfectly vertical, and the exposure in court-yards, or when porches, arcading, etc., are included, and in detail work at close quarters should be liberal.
There are two methods of exposure with the stand camera, in localities where people are passing frequently. One is to arrange the subject on the screen, get the plate in position, watch until the figures passing are in suitable positions, and then make an instantaneous exposure by means of a shutter. This is often the better way, as well-placed figures usually help the picture, and give it life; but care must be taken that the front is not raised very high when using the lens at a large aperture, or inequality of illumination will become noticeable. The other way is to stop the lens right down, and give a long exposure, with the result that the moving people generally do not show at all. If any one should stop, or loiter in the view, the cap may be replaced, and the exposure completed in sections. For these exteriors with figures, which sometimes will almost come under the heading of street scenes, if the subject is not a difficult one, a reflex camera, provided with a good lens and rising front, is the most convenient instrument to use.
Occasionally, also, figures may add value to records of buildings, by giving a scale, but as a rule they are better omitted. They are apt to claim more attention than the actual subjects of the photographs. Yet, however much one may be inclined to dispense with figures, it frequently happens that when the stand camera has been erected in the street, small boys and girls take up positions in front of the building it is desired to photograph, and stand eagerly waiting to be "took." When this occurs, the best plan is to get everything ready, make a feint of exposing, and then look about, ostensibly for fresh subjects. The youngsters will most likely move away, or else come alongside to admire the camera, when, provided they are outside the angle of view, the exposure may be made. Even should this ruse not answer, the lighting up of pipes, or cigarettes, coupled with an apparent loss of interest in the subject, will very soon have the desired effect; indeed, it is surprising how quickly the youthful patience is exhausted. When engaged in the telephotography of elevated details, it is sometimes very amusing to see a number of these little ones carefully posing themselves for their portraits, blissfully unaware that there is not the faintest possibility of their appearing in the resultant photograph.