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.
Time Exposures. The conditions for the work up to this time have required quick exposures. It is important that you become thoroughly familiar with all conditions requiring various exposures. In order to acquaint you with the advantages of and necessity for time exposures, after having made an exposure of a residence with figures introduced, gather your subjects together, somewhere in the shade, perhaps on the side steps, or on one end of the porch, anywhere where they will be protected from direct sunlight. Always arrange the group facing the direction of the sunlight. Never point the camera towards the sun, but rather have the sun back of, or to one side of the instrument. Even if it is in the shade it will be apt to cause a haze over the plate. Arrange your grouping in pyramidic form, one hinging upon the other. When arranging such a group, always place the principal member first, then group one or two persons around him, or her, forming a pyramidic group of two or three. Then if there are more members, add them in a like manner in additional small groups on each side of and subordinated to the principal group. Bear in mind there should always be a principal member to every group, that your picture must tell a story, and the principal object of the picture must be visible at first glance.
98. These groups are made in the shade in order to produce more softness and roundness and overcome the squinting of eyes, which would be the case if they were made in bright sunlight. If it is necessary to make a group picture in sunlight you can overcome, to a certain extent, the squinting of the eyes by arranging the group with the sun falling from the side. Have the subjects arranged with faces turned from the light. This will throw the faces principally in shadow. Then by full timing and careful developing you may overcome the contrast and at the same time the eyes will not appear squinted. The arranging of the group in the shade will necessarily prolong the exposure. While the preparing of this portion of the lesson will afford some experience in the arranging of groups, yet the principal object is to give you a training with exposure and development of plates made under different circumstances.
Exposure. When making an exposure of a residence, under strong sunlight, you judge the time required by the strength of the sunlight on the building, and time for the highlights. By highlights we mean the portion of the building which appears the brightest. If the sun be strong, the highlights on the building will show great strength and the shadows in consequence would be very dense. The fact that the shadows are dense adds to the beauty and appearance of the residence, making it necessary to retain the shadows in their dense form. Because of this you expose the plate only long enough to fully time the highlights, allowing the shadows to take care of themselves. Should you time for the shadows, which ordinarily require four times the exposure, you will over-time the highlights. The highlights and shadows will run together, caused by the fog produced by the over-exposure of the highlights. When photographing a group in the shade, you have no strong highlights, but many half-tones, the strength of the light being very much reduced. In such a case you must time for the most dense shadows, as the difference between the highest lights and the most dense shadows, if all are in subdued light (or shade), will be so little that it does not affect the values of either. When photographing groups, objects or any object, in the shade, calculate on sufficient time to give nice detail in the shadows.
100. If you should make an exposure of a residence in bright sunlight, exposing 1-25 of a second, to fully time a group made in the shade you would expose 1-5 of a second, or about four times as long as you would if subjects were placed in the sun. Much, of course, depends upon the subject and drapery as well as surroundings. For instance, if you should have green foliage for a background, it would necessarily prolong the exposure to double that required for a more neutral tint. As green foliage absorbs the light more and photographs blacker than black painted walls, where such backgrounds exist you must time accordingly.
"DAY IS FAR SPENT" Study No. 8 - See Page 310 By C. F. Clark
Illustration No. 20 - See Paragraph No. 102.
Illustration No. 21 See Paragraphs No. 30 and 106.
Illustration No. 22 See Paragraphs No. 30 and 106.