The Dictionary Of Photography

A True Historic Record Of The Art & Practice Of Photography 100 Years Ago.

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Detective or Hand Cameras
nothing is more annoying than to find on development that only the half of a desired object is included on the plate. There is, however, one evil which is usually seen with most finders of the camera obscura model, the one usually employed, and that is, if the ground glass is not deeply sunk in the camera case, any bright light shining on the same effectually prevents the miniature image from being seen. This should be noted in the choice of a camera, or disappointment may ensue, unless the new style of clear view finder be used. (See View Finder.) Of the working of a detective or hand camera but little need be said ; still it is just as well for the following points to be considered. In most cases comparatively wide-angle lenses are used, and these tend to dwarf the distance and give exaggerated perspective. Do not be disappointed, therefore, if instantaneous pictures of distant mountains or other objects appear as insigni-ficant in size ; plates exposed indiscriminately on all sorts of subjects do not, as a rule, yield pictures, though they may produce perfect negatives. Subjects with very great contrasts of light and shade, such as street views, one side of which is generally in shadow, do not yield perfect results; and rapidly moving objects, such as horses or men, may be taken in too brief a period of time, and the results, though perhaps scientifically accurate, are not truthful as we see them, because the eye receives an impression of several movements combined in one. Of the plates to be used any good brand is suitable. There are several points in connection with hand-camerawork which should be noted. First as to holding the camera. Some workers ad-here to the method of holding the camera under the arm pressed close against the body, and use the small finder to judge of the position of the object; others hold the camera under the chin and sight along the top. The best position depends upon the position of the object to some extent. Suppose we wish to get a shot at a person or group about ten feet off, placing the camera under the chin will probably cut off his feet, whereas holding it under the arm may include all the figure. Then, again, suppos-ing the object to be a distant scene, such as would be taken from a steamer going down the Thames ; in this case holding the camera under the arm will include far too much foreground. A method suggested by a well-known optician has proved in my hands exceedingly useful. It is : - When the object is within