Vivez Bien * Live Well

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Photography - the dark side

One thing that has become very apparent to me since I started blogging is how much skill is required to take a really good photograph. After posting photos from the web often taken by professionals, my own photos seem so inadequate in comparison! That's why I tend to use them less and less. Yes, we have tools such as Photoshop and Picnik, that can improve our photo's but I'm talking about that perfect composition and the quality of the light that some photographers capture so well. Taking photo's of light and sunny interiors is easier, but trying to take photo's of interiors with a darker, more moody atmosphere is very difficult. I have learned that a flash is a no-no! But if I don't use a flash, they often appear so dark, you can't really see anything. When I use various computer tools to change the exposure, I tend to lose the moody sort of atmosphere that I was trying to capture. I know that professionals use various artificial lighting sources to create the mood, but I have seen some of the excellent photography by you bloggers who aren't professional photographers. I need to know your secrets. Not your deep dark secrets, just your secrets about taking deep, dark photographs!

The photo's below illustrate the type of mood and atmosphere that I am trying to capture. Notice the quality of the light in these pictures, and how the light and shadow in these images creates a soulful sort of atmosphere.

Via tumblr

via Arcobelano

Source unknown

Via Here and Abroad

Via Flanelle et Prune

Via The New Victorian Ruralist

Via Happy Scout

Via My French Country Home

Via Simple Everyday Glamour

Via Violet Bella's World

So, my wonderful and talented readers and blog friends, some photography tips are badly needed by me. Can you help?

Till next time

Sharon x


  1. Sharon I play around with some of the settings on my camera when taking a pictures without the flash. I've had the a camera a year and I am still learning about all the different setting there are LOL! Martina

  2. Hi Sharon,
    Sorry, can't help you with any tips because I have the same problem, no good pictures from me, I haven't studied photography and my camera is not the best, but that's all I have. I have a friend that is a photographer and has a very expensive camera, still her photos aren't good, I think you gotta have that "something" to make photos look magical.
    Have a great day!
    XXX Ido

  3. Sharon, We face the same challenges. We've been playing around with the aperture and shutter speed. Trial and error so far. Going to take a class at the local camera store will share if we learn any tips.

  4. Absolutely divine!!!! That photo via Happy Scout sent shivers down my spine!!!! As far as the photography is concerned, I know from my former life in fashion that lighting and shutter speed (or was it film speed?!!) is something our photographers always used a lot. Oh and they always used a tripod - so what I think it boils down to is lots of equipment!!! Not much help I know !!! Have you tried asking the lovely Yvonne over at the following blog: her photography is lovely! It is pale but she may know how to capture the opposite!!! Good luck and thank you so much for such lovely images!!! Glenda xxx

  5. My house is so dark Sharon. A constant frustration for me. The popular blogs like Dreamy Whites well their home is so sunny and bright that any photo will be great.
    Some bloggers buy those painters lights you know the lights in the cage? They completely light up a room. One blogger posted about it.
    Tripods are also great and the best time of day for photos is early morning. My guest bathroom gets the best photos. Has so much morning light in there!
    I'm still learning!!

    Pamela xo

  6. I can't help you I'm afraid as I have the same problem. I would love to know how to take a good photograph with the right lighting. Your images are gorgeous and very inspirational! Leahxx

  7. I have the same problem too Sharon. I seem to spend so much time taking the same photo over & over to capture the right light. Your collection of images is stunning, especially Happy the moodiness in each one! If I pick up any tips along the way I will surely pass them onto you!
    Have a happy day, Kerry

  8. Sharon, good night, I must tell you that your blog is a wonderful place and very peaceful! I love being here, I love coming back here!
    His images are always beautiful!
    Congratulations to you always ...
    embrace Brazil

  9. Sharon,
    I also have the same problem. Every time I take a picture I have to taking the same foto over and over! I'm not so practice with camera and I don't have a great camera. Sorry I think to can't help you. Maybe the problem is the camera, I'm sure if we use a good camera like a professional photographer, be sure that every pictures will be great!
    Bisou, Babi

  10. Oh I wish I could help...I have a cheap camera that takes a simple shot and thats it! LOVE your blog!! Chrissy

  11. something very mysterious about that "happy Scout" picture...

    seems like you got tons of great advice... you can also raise your ISO to get more light into your pictures when you are taking photos in darker places...
    It's not the most professional approach but it will work...

  12. I hear you. I've read my camera manual and that's as far as I've got. Your good South African light should help. Keep going, and keep posting your original photos. It's what makes a blog unique. Cheers Kylie

  13. Hi there, and thanks for leaving a note and for following my blog. So nice to have a follower from South-Africa. Hm.. will you have your eyes on Monaco tomorrow...? ;)

    I have to give it back to you; you have a beautiful blog! I haven't looked through much of it yet but what I've seen.. I love those long tables, especially the ones who goes around the tree. Fun!

    Greetings from Sweden (where it's raining a lot right now.)!


  14. I struggle too Sharon. There are some bloggers taking some amazing shots though. These images you've featured are incredible. I particularly like the first and the last. Rachaelxx

  15. ooooh that photo of the curtains blowing at the open divine...I would be so thrilled to shoot a photo like that.
    Here are my two tips, for what they're worth; never use flash and when in doubt use the "food" setting!
    Thank you for your Independence Day shout out,
    from Santa Barbara, CA,

    Slim P

  16. Hi Sharon, you need a basic SLR, they are affordable if you save up a little and well worth it(not sure if that makes sense), great quality and they never get old .Canon 500D is an excellent example. With a slightly better camera you can set it up to capture any mood you need. You simply put it on a tri pod, (not expensive at all) Remember you don't need the best, but once you have the basic equipment it only gets easier.

    1:Put it on a tri pod (keep it very still)
    2:Set you shutter speed to approximately 5 Seconds, you'll have to test the light, maybe more maybe less (the longer the shutter stays open the more light goes in and the lighter the photo develops.
    3:Set you F stop high this will help to get everything into focus

    Just remember because there is no flash, it will blur easily, that's why you have to keep the camera 100% still.

    Hope this helps.