314. When you come down to real, legitimate landscape work, then you must study.
There is always a time of day when the light is better on any subject than another, and this you should make your particular study. If of a chain of mountains, carefully regard the time when the shadows so fall as to give you the best outlines and the best effects in the val as important in their place in the one as in the other. Out 0f doors y n meet your chief helper, light, on its own ground, and there you may study its nature and learn to manage it to much better advantage than when in the studio. Again, with art principles instilled within the mind, there is constant opportunity out of doors to practise them, and to compare nature with their teachings. Be assured, there is as much in composing a landscape as there is in managing a composition under the skylight; yea, even more, and often the landscape photographer must wait patiently until the light falls to suit him; for he has no curtain nor screen to direct at his will.
315. The photographer entering the field must first choose his subject, and his knowledge of art principles will now come in to help him select and arrange and combine in a picture the material which he has at hand, so as to produce the most agreeable result, and to tell the story. To secure a picture of a lake, it must not be taken from the narrowest end where a bridge crosses it, and, filling up the foreground, hides the beautiful water and all chances at reflections. That would be a picture of a bridge and not of the lake. All through, harmony and unity and balance of the lines, with light and shade, are the chief things to be looked after. Once upon the ground, you begin to combine one part with the other. A vast expanse of beauty is spread out before you, and invites you to make leys; if of a woodside or a grove, perhaps a little lake or pond, near at hand, may secure you some lovely reflections; if of the pebbly beach, some shattered spars or broken pieces of a wreck may add interest to your foreground, or a coil of cast-off rope be made to cover the ugliness of a heap of sea-weed. Again, if you are striving to snap up all the possible detail in a noisy, saucy waterfall, if the fluttering branches of a tree are in danger of spoiling your foreground, consider no labor too great to cut them out of the way. I have spent an hour in this kind of work, cutting away bushes and limbs until I had taken the wind right by the horns, and completely disabled it from doing me harm. More than that, I was with a good friend the other day who climbed nearly thirty feet up a nasty, rough cedar tree, holding on by his teeth, claws, and toe-nails, hatchet in hand, chopping away at the tough limbs until his dear cascade was unobstructed. Not only that, he drove seventy miles in his wagon to get the view, and seventy miles back. Now all such as these I call escapes - pes from making bad pictures. - George W. Wallace. 315. Select the view you desire to picture, and study it under all the effects of light, shade, and shadow, from " early dawn till dewy eve." Photographs taken each hour through the day, without changing the position of the camera, will produce quite a variety of effects, some of them appearing as unlike others as though they were of different views. By studying nature closely under all her phases, you will shortly learn, when looking upon a scene at any time of day (by simply consulting your pocket - compass), just the proper hour to visit the place with your camera in order to obtain the best possible effect. - James Mullen.
316. The size of the picture is somewhat a matter of choice, and yet it has much to do with the general effect The 5x8 inches and the 8x10 inches are perhaps the most popular and advantageous sizes as to glass, when other than stereoscopic pictures are to be made. As to the amount of subject to be chosen, that, too, is a matter governed by choice and circumstances. Views including a vast amount of subject are never so attrative, as pictures, as those made of the richest "bits" at a less distance from the camera. A short view is generally the most satisfactoiy, too, because, the objects are larger, and the lighting may be managed with more ease and satisfaction.
317. The point of sight from which to make the picture must be reguetc; indeed, the same simple arrangement applies to many classes of subjects. After a few trials, the novice will be able to select for his picture a good point of view. If the subject be only a trunk of an old tree, an isolated rock, spire, or tower of a church, always arrange it more to one side than the other of your plate. It must be understood that there are numerous subjects that no fixed rule would be applicable to; in such the operator would have to rely on his own judgment to arrange his picture; but careful study will soon make difficult pictures as easy to arrange as the most simple. It is desirable to avoid small stops, and not attempt sharp, hard pictures. I work with as large an opening as the subject will admit, taking care to get, if possible, a soft negative with a very brief exposure; long exposures, with small stops, produce flat, tame negatives, without relief. - Reuben Mitchell.
316. The size of the glass must necessarily decide in a great measure the expense and weight of the outfit, as a large plate requires a large camera-box, lens, and every other article in proportion; whereas a small plate reduces immensely both these items. I would advise either a glass of 6 x 81/2, or 5 x 8 inches; each size has some advantages over the other. For example, should stereoscopic work be the principal object, then preference may be given to the 6x8 size; under most conditions this plate is very useful. By using one lens only a the picture can be made over the whole plate, of pleasing proportions, when the length of the glass is placed horizontally; if placed upright in the camera, or the box turned on its end, the picture will be too narrow for its length; but as by far the greater proportion of pictures are made with the length of the glass horizontal, this defect is of less importance. The advantages of the 61/2 x 81/2 glass are: The single picture is somewhat larger; the position of the glass plate in the camera can be either lengthwise perpendicular without injuring the proportions of the picture. Stereoscopic work is admissible, but at a waste of glass and chemicals. A frame or kit can, however, be.readily fitted into the dark-holder to take a 5x8 plate, so that for general landscape photography I would advise either of the above-mentioned sizes. - J. C. Browne.