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.
Three Examples. Illustration No. 1 shows a very simply arranged dining-room, one that may be found in the average home. The lens used in making this interior was a Bausch & Lomb-Zeiss, having a focal length of 14 inches; using a stop f. 64, at 10 A. M., with bright sunshine outdoors. An exposure of 10 minutes was necessary to secure perfect detail in all portions of the room, A Standard Orthochromatic plate was used; the developing agent was Pyro.
79. Notice carefully the general composition. More of the right-hand side of the room is shown than of the left, which assists in breaking uniformity, a most undesirable factor. Never attempt to show as much of one side of the room as of the other. In the bay-window the blinds were all thrown open, with the exception of the one included in the view. The opaque curtains were raised full height, but the lace curtains were brought together over the windows, to evenly diffuse the light. Advantage was taken of a window at the rear of the camera, which, with its full light, destroyed the shadows which otherwise would have resulted if only the side-light from the bay-window had been employed. The door at the further end of the room, on the right hand side, being painted white, would have been an intruding feature had it not been partly hidden by the screen which was purposely placed in front of it.
80. Another point, which is one of the most vital in the making of interior views, is that no object should be so close to the camera as to be partly cut off by the bottom of the picture. Many times, however, this is impossible to avoid. The bases of all objects, chairs, tables, etc., should appear in the picture - they must have a support upon which to rest. The development of Illustration No. 1 was carried to exactly the right stage, all detail being preserved in even the highest points of light.
81. An exceptionally difficult subject to photograph is shown in Illustration No. 2. This dining-room, including ceiling, floor and walls, is finished in dark wood. To the left is a large fire-place finished in a light colored tiling. The furniture is all dark and very delicately carved. The table is spread with white linen. To secure detail throughout in both shadows and high-lights, was no easy task. Employing a Standard Orthochromatic plate, a wide-angle anastigmat lens of 7 inch focus, and using stop f. 64, an exposure of 1 hour and 10 minutes was given. The day was very dull and the exposure commenced at 4 P. M. The only source of light employed was that coming from behind the camera. If a side-light of any kind had been used it would have been almost an impossibility to have secured detail in the shadows which would have been formed. This is such a difficult subject that the reproduction does not do the original full justice. In making the half-tone some of the detail has been lost in the high-lights, which makes them appear a trifle chalky.
Illustration No. 2. A Dining-Room. See Paragraph No. 81.
Illustration No. 3. General Interior View. See Paragraph No. 82.
82. An entirely different type of interior is shown in Illustration No. 3. The floor and ceiling were dark, the walls being a medium tone. The light employed came from a window located a little to the left of the camera. The room which is seen through the archway was illuminated from a window to the left, as will be observed by the shadow cast on the floor by the circular chair. The day on which this negative was made was quite dull, yet it required but 20 minutes exposure, at 2 P. M., using a wide-angle anastigmat lens of 7 inch focus, stop f. 64, and a Standard Orthochromatic plate.
83. Notice that the camera was turned enough to the right to avoid having the chandelier come in the middle of the picture space. An error commonly made in photographing interiors is to have the chandelier, or the highest point of attraction, come in the center of the picture. This is a serious mistake. Then, too, the corner of a room should not divide the picture into two parts. The camera should be turned so that the corner will come either to one side or the other of the center.
84. By comparing these three illustrations and studying them carefully, you should be able to apply the principles to your own practice work.