is considerable diversity of opinion among architectural workers as to the utility, or otherwise, of exposure meters for interior work. experts hold that meters are practically valueless, while others strongly advocate the use of them on every possible occasion. Personally we have found that the paper supplied in meters is not sufficiently sensitive to interior lighting, and we have known the correct time of exposure elapse without the paper showing any perceptible sign of change, let alone darkening to the "quarter tint." When the light, is coloured by stained glass the relative sensitiveness of meter and plate may vary widely.
A simple rule, which many workers find helpful, is to stop down until detail is only just visible on the focussing screen in the darkest parts of the subject, and then expose for ten minutes, using an extra rapid plate. Such a method no doubt forms a useful guide in determining exposure, but there are varying factors which must be taken into account, such as the actinic value of the light in different interiors, and also the visual ability to discern details on a dark focussing screen, a faculty which all photographers do not possess in equal measure.
A little experience, however, will soon enable a careful worker to judge with a fair amount of certainty what exposure should be given, particularly when notes of previous work have been kept, and are, as they should be, available for reference.
photography of the carved wooden chancel, rood, choir, or parclose screens, often met with in the churches of East Anglia and the West of England, seldom presents any special difficulty, the chief point to remember being to make sure of giving ample exposure.
Nothing looks worse than the effect of under-exposure in records of carving, a by no means uncommon fault, when, as is often the case, the wood has become dark with age, and in deeply cut work strong contrasts of light and shade are present. The same remarks apply when dealing with choir stalls, font covers, bench ends, " poppy-heads," etc., indeed, all the wood carving to be found in interiors.
The most difficult subjects of this class to photograph are the misereres, or projecting brackets on the under side of the seats in some church choir stalls. They are generally badly lighted, and very dark in colour. Their position being too near the floor for the tripod to be of any use, either books or hassocks must be requisitioned to support the camera. If much work in this direction is contemplated,
it is more satisfactory to construct a small stand, designed for the purpose, and adapted for use in the confined spaces in which this branch of work has to be done.
Roofs, etc.—It may occasionally be desired to photograph portions of the interior roof of a church, in order to show the method of vaulting in stone, or, for instance, the ornamental bosses at the intersections of the vaulting ribs, or the form of construction in the case of a wooden roof. When using a stand camera a tilting table is most con venient for fixing the camera in the required position, but if a hand camera, of either the magazine or reflex type, be used, it can be placed, lens upwards, on a tripod head, a chair, or even on the floor, if necessary, the correct position being ascertained by means of the finder ; thus for this particular work the hand camera has a certain advantage, in point of simplicity, over the stand camera. Another method is to fit a surface-silvered mirror attachment to the lens, and photograph the reflection of the roof. By twisting this attachment round on the lens it will also serve for photographing brasses and inscribed stone slabs in church floors, or, if a direct view be required, a stand camera attached to a tilting-table can be employed ; but when dealing with large subjects of this class a specially con structed frame-work to carry the camera is to be preferred.
Fonts.—The photography of fonts often requires con siderable care, owing to their position in the churches. Frequently they are very poorly lighted, and sometimes the camera has to be placed in a strongly-lit position, while the font is in comparative darkness. In such cases, if the light shines on the front of the camera, the lens should be shaded, otherwise there will be a likelihood of flare occurring.
Plates.—The choice of the particular brand of plate to be used is largely a matter of taste, every photographer having personal preferences in the selection of his materials. Where record work, requiring the reproduction of fine detail, which may be subsequently enlarged, is the main object, a plate possessing a fine grain is desirable, and in this respect a moderately rapid plate will generally be found more satis factory than one of the ultra-rapid variety, both for exterior and interior work.