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.
Introduction. In addition to the regular forms of lighting, there is an endless number of striking and odd effects which may be produced by daylight as well as artificial light. When it is possible to use daylight it will be found far easier, and, as a rule, the results will be better than when employing flashlight, or any other form of artificial light. The greatest drawback of all, when using flashlight material, is that the lighting effect cannot be studied carefully previous to making the exposure, even if an experimental flash is used beforehand. The flash is so sudden that there is no time to see what light strikes the subject, or what undesirable reflections may be cast from any accessory that may catch the light. If noted in time the accessory might have been easily removed, or turned at a different angle so as not to catch the light. When daylight is employed as the illuminant, the light is continuous and steady and will give you sufficient time in which to study your subject and to make alterations until you have secured exactly the desired effect.
423. One of the easiest, and perhaps most interesting, features of this class of work is the making of firelight effects by daylight. It is a very easy matter to control the light and on referring to Illustration No. 26 the method of procedure will be clearly understood. The subject is raised to the level of the window-sill, using a large table or boards supported on trestles. This platform should be covered with a carpet, which may be thrown loosely over it. The opaque curtain on the window should be drawn down from the top far enough to give an opening of suitable size to produce the proper effect. The size of the opening will depend entirely upon the position of the subject, etc. An artificial fireplace must be constructed and usually a fender, andirons, and tongs may be secured from a local hardware dealer. This fireplace should be placed in front of the opening in the window on the temporary floor. The subject should be as near the source of light as possible, so that the light may be concentrated and produce the slight harshness which will make the scene appear natural. The remaining curtains in the room should be drawn, as the only light desired is that coming through the small opening in the window you are using - just in front of the sitter where the fire is supposed to be. In some cases it may be found convenient to place a mirror or a white piece of paper in the "fireplace" to give an extra amount of reflected light upwards into the face of the sitter.
424. This method of lighting has advantages over the use of flashlight compounds, in addition to those previously mentioned. The usual method of placing magnesium or a flash-powder of some description in the ordinary grate, is always attended by a certain degree of smoke and dirt. Great care must also be taken to avoid flare around the fireplace when employing this latter method.
425. The background must be black and may be composed of very dark curtains if nothing more suitable is at hand. These should be stretched tightly, otherwise awkward streaks of light will show on the folds. An example of a fireplace study is shown in Illustration No. 26, and this will give you an idea of the effects which are easily obtained.