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.
Photographing Machinery In Use. Pictures of interiors of power plants, machine shops, factories, etc., are made for use largely for advertising purposes, where the object is to impress customers and the general public, by means of the photographs, with the completeness and, perhaps, magnitude of the plant, as well as supplying evidence of the facilities for producing the goods.
Point Of View. For all such work the principal consideration is the selection of point of view from which to make the picture, giving a general view of the interior arrangement. As the different machines in use are usually located close together, to show them to their best advantage a position must be selected at some elevation sufficiently high to enable you to look down upon them - viewing them from above - rather than on a level with them.
238. In selecting the point of view, choose such a point as will give you good perspective, working diagonally across the room, showing one side and end of the different machines. Wherever possible, the picture should be made from a point which shows the smaller machines in the foreground and the more massive ones in the distance. Where large objects are located in the immediate foreground, they exclude many small objects from view, thus giving a false impression of the plant. The height of elevation should be sufficient to enable you to distinguish each machine and the point of view for this class of work should be, as near as possible, diagonally across the space. As all such shops and factories have side windows, you will need to face the light.
239. Owing to the large area of space to be covered, a good, bright day should be selected for this work, as cross-lights from the windows will give strength and snap to the view. The best light for such work is when the sunlight is faint, but the day clear. If the sunlight is very bright, then the best time of day for such work is about the noon hour, when the sun is directly overhead. This will enable you to avoid strong reflections.
Avoiding Halation. While working toward the source of light will, ordinarily, produce severe halation, yet by the Special Developing Method given in Volume II, halation may be overcome. This method should be employed for all work of this kind. Non-halation plates will further assist in overcoming halation and should be employed whenever possible. Even with such plates a long exposure - four times the normal - should be given, and then developed by the special formula, as above stated.
241. In Illustration No. 52a is presented a severe test for working against the light. Observe that while the camera is pointed directly toward the window (the source of illumination), yet there is no halation. The resulting picture is clear in detail, with snap and vigor. In Illustration No. 53 is shown a general view of a series of dynamos. The point of view selected was from an elevation of about eight feet from the floor, working diagonally across the room, resulting in a picture of practically all the machinery in the room, showing its arrangement, etc.,
Photo by T. E. Dillon
Illustration No. 53 Series of Dynamos See Paragraph 241
Photos by Guy E. Phipps, Franklin. Pa.
Illustration No. 53 a Interiors - Machinery - Special Development See Paragraph 242
Photographing Castings and Machinery. 147 and at the same time including the iron-work of the ceiling sufficiently to give a truthful impression of the plant.
242. In Illustration No. 53a, we have a group of four views showing interior work where the special method of exposure and development was employed.
243. In Illustration No. 54 we have a radically different subject, being a cotton machine in operation. This machine was located in a basement, with all the illumination coming from small windows, falling broadly onto the machinery, resulting in a long exposure being required to secure full detail.