Calling all people who are smarter than me!

Does anyone smarter than me know how to take a picture of a bay window wall (or any window wall, for that matter) without having it turn out looking like an evil black hole crawled in and ate everything but the window? Our middle living room (aka the Black Hole's first unsuspecting victim) has been MIA from the blog since we first ditched the dark, bulky curtains and tore out the carpet the weekend after we closed (three months ago!), but we've been working on making some small updates, like adding pillows...

I used Premier Prints Dandelion Yellow and Dwell Studio Belle Porte in Citron for fabric. 

...hanging curtains that I made while the sewing machine and I were on speaking terms...

...and, of course, painting.

So I was excited to capture it all on my blog, but then I went to take a picture of all our work. Which is when the shadow of darkness swept in and ate my room for lunch, burping up the window as a lame consolation prize for me to keep. Case in point:

It's dramatic. It's moody. It looks nothing like the room I walked into just one minute earlier. The next photo is as close as I could come to what our room actually looks like (yes, I realize that it's only about 0.389% better):

This, after playing around with the few settings my camera offers while heaving several dramatic sighs akin to Juliet's wailing after she finds out that she must parade down the aisle with some old fart named Paris and her beloved Romeo is banished for not thinking twice before shoving his sword into her cousin.

But I digress. And only slightly exaggerate. Can you tell, though, that I have now watched that scene six times as I attempt to help my students understand Shakespeare?

My expertise in photography is limited to an 11th grade studio class with Mrs. Scott in which my prize project was some black and white I took of a ceiling fan (no joke). You'll just have to trust me when I say that the room now (in real life) actually looks much less like a true black hole than it did when we first moved in:

Any suggestions for how to tell the Black Hole that he needs to find a new place to dine? Or is my situation as ill-fated as Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers? I'll take any help you can give. Unless, of course, it involves "fake your death" potion and other hare-brained schemes. I'm not that desperate. :)


  1. I'm no help. Do you have a DSLR? If so, I can ask the husband!

    Your curtains are cute though!! :)

  2. I don't have any suggestions for you camera-wise, but I just wanted to say how GREAT your room now looks from when you moved in. What an improvement!

  3. I have this same problem! I'm going to be watching your comments to see what ya get.

  4. Rachel5/30/2011

    What kind of camera do you have? Like a point and click or an actualy beast with lenses and whatnot? If you have a manual setting on your camera use that and adjust your shutter speed and aperture (shutter speed looks like a fraction on your monitor...1/200 1/160 etc and aperture is the Fstop so on the monitor it will say F22, F4 etc) If you do have that kind of camera give me a call and I will help you figure out what settings to set them to. I am learning all that stuff in class right now :-)

  5. Our camera has a "backlight" setting for photos like this, other than that I have no advice. :( Looks gorgeous though!! I love the curtains too! Is it is a Waverly fabric? I think I used the same fabric, only in green for my sons curtains.

  6. The problem is back-lighting. Your camera is adjusting for all that light coming in through the window. You have to point your camera away from the window, hold the button down halfway to lock the exposure, and then take a pic.

    Other ideas: light the spot from the inside w/work lights or other bright lighting. It won't look pretty, but it might help compete w/the backlighting.

    It's a super tricky spot! Looks like you mostly made it work, though!

  7. Katie--I'm not actually sure which company made that fabric; I ordered it from fabric.com (http://www.fabric.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=452d9ca8-3498-4891-a7a6-c0d8d73f3f6c) but it looks pretty similar to a Waverly stripe fabric that is $3 more per yard!


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