Alice followed me, as she always does when I go into this room. She usually begins by winding around my feet begging to be picked up. After a suitable amount of hugging, I put her down, and she finds a cozy spot to relax and watch what I'm doing. Yesterday, her spot was on top of some needlepoint in one of the cubbies of my wall unit.
She looked perfectly content and posed in there ... very photo worthy. My little camera was in my pocket (you already knew that, didn't you), so I pulled it out and snapped a quick photo. I didn't realize that the flash was turned on, and this was what I got ... a perfect example to show you why you should NOT be shooting direct flash if you want to get a good photo.
The most obvious problem is that Alice's eyes are electric, glowing yellow ... as the flash reflects through her pupils and illuminates the inside of her eyes. The flash makes everything in this photo bright and harsh.
I quickly turned off the flash, and snapped another photo.
Isn't this one a lot better?
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit to a small amount of editing to both of these photos using PhotoShop. On both photos, I adjusted the levels to moderate the shadows, and I did a tiny bit of color correcting because my camera makes photos a bit too blue for my eye. (Sliding the color balance 5-10% toward the yellow usually fixes this perfectly.) I sized the photos to 640 pixels on the long side, and I sharpened them ... like I do with all the photos I publish. Nothing to radically alter them, just enough so they display well on a monitor.
The next time you're taking photos inside, turn off your flash and see what you get. You may need to use a tripod to keep your camera steady for the slower shutter speeds necessary in lower light, but I can practically guarantee that you will be happier with your photos.
If you try this, be sure to let me know how it works for you.