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.
Practice Work. In order to become proficient in the photographing of animals, you should proceed to photograph different subjects, following carefully the directions which have been given. Remember that it requires a considerable amount of patience to secure a perfect negative of the majority of animals and you must try to work as quickly, yet with as little apparent haste as possible. You should have everything in readiness, the camera arranged and the lens focused on the spot that the subject is to occupy, if it is a cat, dog or similar subject, before placing the subject in position. Then when all is in readiness it may be placed in position and the exposure made as soon as the proper position has been secured. Remember to give consideration to the background, for this feature may entirely ruin or it may add greatly to your final results. The plainer and simpler the background the better. It must not detract from the subject.
616. In photographing larger animals you will find it advisable to use the camera without the tripod, for the tripod will usually give considerable trouble as it will be necessary to follow your subjects in order to secure the best view of them. Then, too, any additional paraphernalia is liable to frighten your subject. When holding the camera in your hand you should not give more than 1-25 second of an exposure and even then the instrument must be held rigidly or there will be danger of getting a double or blurred image through movement. For your first work it is not advisable to make more than two or three exposures before developing them. After a little practice, however, you will be able to correctly ascertain the correct exposure and you should experience no difficulty in securing excellent results. Each negative that you make should be proofed and full information written on the back of each proof for future reference.