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.
Attention To Foreground. A very important point for consideration in photographing store-rooms is to avoid a crowded foreground, and also the placing of large objects in the immediate foreground which will not only appear out of proportion, but will dwarf all small articles by comparison.
Point Of View. Strive to secure uniformity and general balance throughout the view, and select a viewpoint that will give the observer an idea of the general appearance of the room in its natural state.
164. It is never advisable to have a set appearance of the articles in the room, and the camera should be located so as to give proper balance to the picture space. Do not point the camera directly down an aisle unless it is absolutely necessary. Notice the point of view chosen when making the photograph in Illustration No. 32, which gives one a good idea of the general arrangement of the store, yet the picture is void of any attempt at special preparation for the picture.
Illuminating Rear Of Long Rooms. Where there is not sufficient daylight to illuminate the rear of the store, or if there is no skylight for the center of the room, the use of a small charge of flash-powder, or even a few pieces of magnesium ribbon located back of some pillar or large object, obstructed from view of the camera, will illuminate the room and will not fog the plate.
166. In Illustration No. 32 the above mentioned conditions existed, and it was necessary to burn a little powder at the end of the counter, on the right-hand side, and also behind the desk, which is farther down in the room.
167. Illustration No. 33 supplies a good interior view of a gentlemen's restaurant and bar. While this room is arranged practically square, which is a difficult condition to illustrate in one single view, yet in this picture we get a good idea of the appearance of the place. The picture was made from one corner of the front of the room, with illumination from the side and front, which would be back of the camera, thus quite evenly distributing the light over the entire space.
168. In Illustration No. 34 we have a view of a section of a rug store. This picture was made for advertising purposes. In arranging the rugs for this picture, you will observe that large rugs are used to form the background, and in order to break the monotony, stacks of small rugs are arranged in the center of the background; while to break up the flat foreground and supply some high-lights and shadows, single small rugs were gathered up and distributed promiscuously on the floor. The illumination was supplied from four windows, two on each side. In Illustration No. 35 we have another picture of goods grouped together for use in advertising. For the purpose of this picture the goods were arranged in the front part of the store thus permitting them to be seen upon first entering. The illumination coming all from the front windows, gave a good light, resulting in an excellent picture. Illustration No. 35a, which shows engine models, as well as models of various engine parts, is reproduced here to illustrate the best method of illustrating subjects which are practically all dark in color, with occasionally brightly illuminated surfaces. This photograph was made without dulling the surface of the metal, but a double source of illumination was employed. The display was placed about 20 feet from the two windows, which latter were about 15 feet apart, the camera being located between them. In this way a front view of the display was secured, and the light coming from both sides of the front fully illuminated all shadows, something which could not have been properly accomplished if a straight front or a straight side light had been employed.