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.
34. While the above title might indicate that this volume is intended only for the beginner, yet we would advise those who have had some experience, but have possibly begun wrong, to carefully read these instructions. The house that is built on a poor foundation will never withstand the force of the elements, and so it is in photography. Start right. Be sure of your foundation. Then the difficulties which you will assuredly meet as you advance in this most interesting and profitable profession will be readily overcome.
35. In this instruction we will avoid, as much as possible, technicalities and theories. Be honest with yourself in this study of photography, and your own energies, taste and ambition will lead you to success.
36. The camera has now become almost a household necessity. Nearly every home has one or more, yet only about one-third are actually in use. Hardly one-half of the users do their own finishing but depend upon the professional or wide-awake amateur to do finishing for them. The reason for this is plain. When the camera was first purchased they were led to believe that all that was necessary was to point the instrument at the object they wished to photograph, press the bulb or push button and "presto change" the picture was finished. In nearly every instance, they have met with failures. Most of those meeting with success do not readily understand how they attained their success, and when they meet with failure blame the photographer who developed their plates or films, or come to the conclusion that their camera is a poor one. If they have not lost their enthusiasm and are well supplied with worldly goods, they buy a more expensive instrument; perhaps keep on producing indifferent results until they finally become disgusted, place the camera on the shelf, and lose thereby a most interesting source of education, pleasure and profit.
37. This is the reason why, in so many homes there is more than one camera. It also partly accounts for the fact that the out-put of the different manufacturers is growing larger every year and the number of new cameras is steadily increasing.
38. While it is advisable for beginners to have as good an outfit as possible, it is better, however, for them to have a cheap one and to know how to use it intelligently. Many a cheap instrument is condemned because the user is ignorant of its limitations and tries to put it to uses for which it was never intended. The gun that is guaranteed to shoot true at one hundred yards is not expected to do so at three hundred. The same applies to a camera.
39. In this instruction you will be taught what to expect from your camera. You will become thoroughly familiar with its every feature and attachment, to learn how to produce the best possible results. The rudiments of proper lighting, exposure and developing of plates or films, with prepared powders principally, will be thoroughly treated.
40. The knowledge and experience thus gained will be the foundation of your future photographic studies. You will meet with failures and successes. They should teach you to study the reasons for both. Learn to think photographically for yourself. Do not go ahead blindly, but when in doubt, stop and think. Reason out for yourself the why and wherefore of things and you are bound to succeed, overcoming, with ease, difficulties that otherwise seem to be unsurmountable. The frequent difficulties that you will experience in your first efforts will be fully explained at the end of each chapter, under the heading, "Difficulties," and remedies for the same will be suggested. Above everything else study all instruction carefully, and intelligently follow it. As each failure occurs, turn to the "Difficulty" chapter, where you will find your trouble clearly explained and the proper remedy given.
41. While cameras sent out by most manufacturers are furnished with a descriptive booklet, giving general instructions, there may be some points not perfectly clear to the beginner. Since the different types of cameras are so numerous that it is almost impossible to cover them all in detail, we will only describe here the more important parts of the modern instrument.