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.
Securing Pictorial Effects. The photographer is greatly handicapped, as compared with the painter, inasmuch as he has very limited power to omit from, or add to, the subject at which his camera is directed. Taking this into consideration it is advisable to spend considerable time in studying and selecting the point of view from which it is desired to make the exposure. If this is not done there is a liability of some object being misplaced, or some obtrusive object included, to the detriment of the final result. Your individual power of selection will overcome any difficulty. By cultivating your power of observation you will learn to advance your camera until an unsightly object passes out of the field of view, or to bodily remove the objectionable feature, if possible.
Selection Of View. Before even setting up your camera, and previous to considering the making of an exposure, you must decide upon one point in particular:
"Is the view worth recording?"
Perhaps this will seem obvious to you, but it is one of the chief stumbling blocks to the amateur. It is often very difficult for him to decide what is worth recording and what is not. Many persons when first taking up photography go forth with their cameras and throw common sense to the winds, wasting plate after plate upon the most useless and uninteresting subjects - views which have no beauty and no purpose.
Choice Of Subjects. In landscape photography the selection of the subject and the choosing of the point of view (position of the camera) are the two most important things to take into consideration at the start. Do not attempt to look at nature too broadly and generously, as it is far better to seek for impressions. Do not allow the charm of strong color and detail to confuse you and thus lose the proper effect of composition.
Excessive Contrasts. It is necessary to avoid excessive contrasts in a general way. These types of subject may look very striking in nature, but the lens and plate are apt to give a very crude and mechanical rendering of them. Soft half-tones and delicate gradations are infinitely easier to secure and reproduce, and in the finished picture are quite as attractive to the cultured observer.
Kinds Of Subjects. There are, practically speaking, two varieties of subjects which allow of being interpreted to the best advantage by means of photography: First, those interesting or beautiful when recorded just as they are found; second, those whose interest and beauty depend upon the treatment they receive and the character and individuality with which they are stamped.
206. Remember, that art cannot be hurried. But don't lose an opportunity of securing a pictorial effect by taking up unnecessary time.
207. On going out on your pictorial excursions you will find it very much to your advantage to go alone, as it is almost impossible to get your mind settled upon your work if you have with you a talkative and disconcerting friend.