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.
Focusing. Focusing is a very important factor, and you must remember that sharpness of focus is only permissible for objects in the foreground; the distance will take care of itself. Any lack of definition in the distance would add to, rather than detract from, the pictorial effect. Therefore, a small stop in the lens is fatal to success in landscape work. Whatever stopping down is done in landscape photography must be only sufficient to carry clearness of definition so far into the picture as will suffice to correctly define the nearer details. Many good pictures may be taken with an unstopped lens.
260. You will now readily understand that the best resuits will come to the careful, methodical and deliberate workman.
CALLING THE FERRYMAN Study No. 13 - See Page 30S By Mrs. Nancy F. Cones.
Exposure In Landscape Photography. In ascertaining correct exposure for landscape work the size of stop is of great importance, for the use of the small stop prolongs the exposure and thus causes a great risk of movement and entirely ruins landscape subjects by completely destroying the atmosphere of the distance. For all practical purposes stop F. 8 will be the most suitable. Should your lens work at F. 6.8 so much the better. Remember that you do not want to secure sharp detail, especially in early morning studies. A broad and soft effect is what you should strive to obtain. The actual duration of the exposure, of course, depends to a great extent upon the character of your subject. An open landscape, upon which falls strong sunlight, will require not more than 1-25 of a second, while an exposure in the woods, particularly when there is a little mist present, will require fully 1/2 second in the early morning.
Development. When developing dilute the solution liberally and proceed slowly and cautiously. Even when the greatest of care is exercised the highlights will often become over-dense by the time the shadows have acquired sufficient detail and density. The only remedy then is to reduce these highlights afterwards. Ammonium persulphate will be found most suitable for this purpose, as you require something that will attack the highlights first and thus bring them into correct relationship with the shadows. The formula for Universal Developer and the methods of handling it, fully set forth in Volume II, apply to this class of negatives.
General Hints. While excellent effects may be obtained on ordinary plates, orthochromatic plates backed and used in conjunction with the ray filter will be found very valuable, although it is unnecessary to employ the filter when photographing in the early morning or late in the evening.
Films. Films have a great advantage over the ordinary plate for landscape photographs, as the halation which is bound to appear from bright patches amongst the foliage is reduced to the minimum. Again, when using ordinary plates for landscape work, have them backed. The non-halation plate takes the place of the ordinary plate backed, but it is a trifle more expensive and the results secured are in no way superior to those obtained on the backed plate.
Exposure. Exposures given for sunlight pictures are sufficiently short to admit of the use of hand cameras, although it is in every case advisable to employ a tripod when working for pictorial effect. You can obtain the desired results if you arrange the composition carefully on the ground-glass and spend considerable time examining it critically for imperfections. It is permissible to doctor a negative by blocking out certain portions, but it is much better to avoid all such after-labor by carefully focusing and composing the picture before making the exposure.
Practice Work. For practice work select some convenient scene that appeals to you. Before attempting to photograph it, however, study where you will set the camera; in other words, select your view-point. This you should be able to accomplish with considerable ease, if you have carefully digested the foregoing lesson work.
267. Make good proof prints from each experiment; make your notations on the back and file them in your proof file for future guidance.