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.
Dodging During Exposure. Sometimes a little dodging may be successfully resorted to by permitting the figures (which, of course, must be arranged in good light) to remain for the regular time required to get a good picture of them alone. When this time has expired have them step out of the picture and then give the balance of the exposure for the interior. The lens can be capped or the shutter closed while the figures are leaving the room. If much exposure is given, capping the lens will not be necessary, because if the subject moves out of the room quickly there will be no blurring. When subjects are to remain in the room only a portion of the time, care must be taken to arrange them in a position with some dark object as a background, or the effect will be spoiled and a ghost-like effect will show in the completed picture. Always have a dark background behind the subject, under such circumstances.
Lighting. The lighting is governed by the conditions which exist in each individual case. It will be necessary to choose the point of view that gives the greatest amount of even illumination, and at the same time shows, the most pleasing and attractive portion of the room. When the point of view has been selected, give careful consideration to the effect the light has on the individual pieces of furniture, and other objects. Avoid spotty effects in lighting, and if the general effect seems to be spotty, the slight turning of a chair, or altering the position of the objectionable feature, might have much to do toward securing proper effect and a harmonious, even tone throughout the picture.
Time Of Day. Great difference may be made in the lighting of most interiors, by choosing the right time of day and proper weather conditions. The room being photographed should be on the shadow side of the house. This will give a more uniform lighting than could be ordinarily obtained if rays of strong sunlight were falling on the window. A room on the east side of the house should be photographed in the afternoon, a west room in the morning, etc. Better results will be secured if it is slightly cloudy out of doors, as the diffusion of light throughout the room will be much more uniform and the high-lights not so strong and accentuated.
Diffused Light. Sometimes diffused light may be secured by pinning a single thickness of cheese-cloth over the window through which strong sunlight is admitted. As exposure is not made for the high-lights, strict attention must be paid to the shadows, and every effort made to soften the high-lights. Usually when doing this, the even illumination will give more light to the shadows, as the light, being more diffused, is evenly distributed throughout the room.
Dark Walls And Furnishings. If the walls and general furnishings of the room are very dark, it will be necessary to pay more strict attention to the source of light and to the amount of diffusion given the light, than if the walls are of a light material, which would reflect a great deal of light to the shadows. It may be taken as a general rule, therefore, that in photographing dark interiors, the source of light must be diffused considerably more than when photographing interiors of light character. Of course, the required exposure will be increased many times, but as a rule the extreme length of necessary exposure is no detriment.