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.
Misleading Effects Produced By Color. In many highly lighted landscapes the beginner will be misled by the brilliancy. In such a case, the photographic plate will not reproduce the effects as they are seen by the naked eye. It is advisable to reduce the scene to monochrome (one color). (See Chapter VI (Local Intensifying)., Paragraph 209.) A piece of blue glass can be employed as previously directed, but if you wish to focus upon the ground-glass of your camera, a blue glass lens cap will be found very useful. If a picture is focused with a blue glass on the lens, a much better idea of the monochromatic result is ascertained and you can arrange the general mass and the balance and composition much more easily than if you were to be confused by the appearance of color.
Difficulty In Photographing Woodland Scenes. One of the greatest difficulties in photographing in the woods is caused by the spreading of light which sifts through the branches of the trees in such a way as to cause halation. This will, of course, appear only where the trees rise above the horizon line, and the branches extend sufficiently high to allow the sky to form a background and the strong light to penetrate through the branches. To avoid this, non-halation plates should be used; or you can back the plates and obtain the same results. The method of backing the plates has been thoroughly described in Chapter V (Purple Tones On Collodion And Gelatin Glossy Papers). You will also experience difficulty if you attempt to photograph dense woodland scenes in the middle of the day, when the rays of light fall perpendicularly upon the trees. A late afternoon sun is the best for photographing in the woods, especially when the trunks of the trees and the under branches require lighting. An hour's difference in the position of the sun may make the difference between a photographic record and a picture.
Exaggerated Breadth In Foreground. The lens is a highly important item of the photographic outfit. This does not necessarily mean that it should be an expensive one, but one of considerable focal length, to give a proper rendering of the scene and not too broad an angle of view to the foreground. A single achromatic lens will probably serve as good a purpose as an expensive anastigmat for this work. A useful focal length of the lens for pictorial landscape photography is from one and one-half times to twice the length of the base line of the picture. A narrow angle, or in other words, a long focus lens, renders more agreeable proportions, and, as we have said before, is to be preferred for landscape work.
Unimportant Objects Attract Too Much Attention. When using the large aperture of the lens for pictorial work, the object of chief interest should be in sharpest focus, and the other objects placed in subordinate degrees of definition according to their pictorial importance. If there are objectionable features within the picture space which can be easily moved, remove them before making the exposure. In fact, it is essential that you do all within your power to have only objects in the picture which add to the general interest and assist in carying out the idea which you wish to convey. Always have the strongest light on those items which are of greatest importance. If it is impossible to remove the unimportant features which attract too much attention, you should wait until a time of day when these particular objects are in shadow. Under no circumstance should an exposure be made when the strongest light falls on objectionable parts of the view.