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.
1. When the beginner in photography first tries his camera it is usually pointed at some building, generally the family home, for the reason that such an object is erroneously supposed to be the most simple to photograph. Also, because there is ever a demand by the members of the family for a picture of "home." The results of first efforts are eagerly awaited. There are, in consequence, many photographs intended for pictures of "home, sweet home" which are merely caricatures. The base of the house is sometimes wider than the top or is tipping over backwards or sideways, and many times it looks as though a cyclone had twisted the entire building out of shape. In this instruction you are taught how to overcome these difficulties.
2. In the study of Architectural Photography you receive a training on the proper utilization of highlights, shades and shadows, perspective and lines. In the photographing of architecture we really find the foundation of the art. A well executed series of architectural photographs are an interesting and valuable possession and well repay the labor of producing them.
3. An architectural photograph to be of value must be properly executed, and if in photographing buildings they be badly represented their beauty is entirely lost.
4. To the professional workman this branch of photography has proven most fascinating as well as exceedingly profitable. The purpose of this instruction is that you may by careful study, diligent and intelligent practice obtain a thorough and practical knowledge of the correct photographing of buildings and architecture of every description.
Requirements. In an architectural photograph the fundamental requirements are true and perfect perspective. The architect when preparing his designs, keeps the fact in mind that the structure, whether a public building or a dwelling, will be seen from various points and, in order to give it grace, he supplies certain curves and lines, modulating them to that effect. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary for the photographer to interpret these lines in a truthful manner. To do this it is necessary that he must not only study perspective, light, shade and shadow, but most essentially, lines. The location of the horizon, vertical and horizontal lines must also be true. There should be light, shade and shadow, and the proper relation of highlights and shadows is very important.
Outfit. While for ordinary architectural pictures the regulation view or hand camera will answer - and there are times when even the pocket film camera will supply the required results - yet for the best results and for difficult work the most modern instruments should be used. It is a fact that a large percentage of architectural pictures are made with the ordinary camera and lens. It is also true that the modern cameras of today are equipped with attachments for the overcoming of many obstacles which could not be conquered with the old style of instruments. While modern cameras are so well equipped, yet few workers realize the value of their improvements; consequently usual results are far from being as satisfactory as they might be. Therefore, with the camera of today one has but to understand the practical advantages of these improvements to produce the best of work.
7. In considering the apparatus necessary for the successful taking of architectural photographs, we will first view the outfit from a professional and then from an amateur standpoint. At one time an architectural photographer's outfit was looked upon as a trifling affair. A view camera of the ordinary type, a rapid rectilinear and a wide angle lens, were all these outfits consisted of. The portrait photographer considered the taking of buildings, or architectural photography, in general, simply a side issue in his business. As a rule, he did not care to leave his studio and so gave little thought to this most interesting part of the photographic profession. Today, however, the demands on the photographer are entirely different, and both the professional and the amateur have begun to realize that architectural photography requires just as much thought and study as portraiture, as well as the proper kind of outfit.