One day I will get a manual camera and take a class, but until then I have to make do with this point-and-shoot:
It's actually a pretty great little point-and-shoot. But to compensate for my overall picture-taking ignorance, what I do is study professionally shot interiors.
Let's study these pictures of beds.
What do you notice?
Here's what I see:
2. More often than not, the picture is taken of the right side of the bed, rather than the left, though there are exceptions as you can see in the last two photos.
3 The shot is taken straight on, not at an angle to the bed, and the photographer makes sure to show the very end of the bed in the shot.
4. The shot is taken low down. Go back and look. In every single shot, I can picture the photographer crouching or kneeling down. (Or more likely, putting the camera low on a tripod --which I do not have.)
5. Now look at the windows. Can you see trees or shrubbery or anything out of them? Nope. Many professionally shot interiors have blinding light coming through the windows. In fact, you can barely, if at all, see the mullions. (In the first picture, which shows no window, there's even a blinding white spot on the covers.)
For us novices, that means taking the picture during the day with the flash off, which I know you probably already know. And if you have a point-and-shoot and cannot slow the shutter speed (or whatever that thing is called) to allow more time for light to enter the camera, you've got to do the next best thing, which is edit the photo. I pretty much edit all my photos for exposure using our very simple Windows photo program, but there are lots of free online sites that will allow you to do this. I just dial up the exposure until the light through the window looks blinding and/or when the photo starts to look too grainy. I know that you professional photographers out there will be aghast at that comment, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
6. Last, notice that the lamps are off. I think we have a tendency to want to turn on the lights because we want more light, or it looks prettier that way in person, or because we see it on HGTV, which is video rather than still photography. But I challenge you to find professionally shot interiors with the lights on. They are out there, but they are few and far between. Having lights on messes with shadows and colors and all kinds of stuff.
I'm hoping to do more of these "What-I-Notice" posts as I am constantly studying interior photographs to compensate for my novice picture-taking and my non-manual camera.
Ok, your turn. What do you notice in these pictures? Do you have point-and-shoot tips, or any photography tips to share?