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.
384. The application of photography to construction work is not confined alone to the large companies and engineers, for if they have found it of inestimable value it is quite certain that all engaged in work of this nature will find that the use of photographs not only saves time and money in the ways previously mentioned, but they facilitate, to a great extent, the actual work of construction.
385. The superintendent of the work should have a sufficient knowledge of photography to at least be able to operate the camera and give instruction intelligently with reference to the finishing of the pictures. There are times, however, when it is preferable to have a regular photographer attend to the securing of the views. For this reason every photographic worker should be thoroughly informed with reference to the requirements of the engineers, so that he may be able to supply the highest class of work. The general instruction contained in this volume regarding the photographing of machinery, etc., should be thoroughly mastered, in order that one may intelligently reproduce all detail work. Instruction regarding the making of general views of plants and buildings, in fact, all architectural subjects, is contained in Volume III.
Apparatus - Camera And Lens. The necessary outfit for record of construction work can be covered with two cameras, one an 8 x 10 fitted with a rectilinear or an anastigmat lens, the other a pocket or hand film-camera. The 8 x10 camera is used for all record work, and, therefore, such a lens should be used as will give perfect rectilinear lines. For this purpose a high grade Extra Rapid Rectilinear or an Anastigmat lens should be employed.
387. The camera should be one having as many attachments as possible, and especially is it desirable that the back have both horizontal and vertical swings, and that the front be of the rising and falling type. The bellows should be of sufficient length to permit one to use the single combination of the lens, which combination usually has a focal-length approximately double that of the complete lens.
The Tripod. The tripod should be extremely rigid, for often it will be necessary to stop the lens down to a very small aperture, which will require exposures of some little duration. The aim in every case should be to secure an exact record of facts with perfect accuracy. If the tripod were not sufficiently rigid, a slight breeze might ruin a negative, by causing a blur or a double image to be registered on the plate.
389. The hand or film camera is employed for special work illustrating different circumstances and little incidents that occur during the day, for which a small picture is sufficient, and the film camera is very convenient to handle, and is always ready for operation.
Plates. Any ordinary plate will answer the purpose for the making of architectural and general construction negatives. As most of the work is made while men are at work, a rapid plate will need to be employed, for when workmen and continuously moving objects, such as teams, cranes, derricks, etc., are included in the view, quick exposures will be required in order that no movement of these objects be recorded, and in such cases a rapid plate is a necessity, but no specially corrected plate, such as the orthochromatic plate, will be required. The only advantage of such a plate is apparent when the construction work is badly scattered and a large area is to be taken in the view; then the use of orthochromatic plates with a four-times screen would assist in obtaining a more accurate rendering of the scene.