Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
First - mobile phone shot, steadied by a tripod. Second - DSLR on the tripod. It is up to you as to how far you want to go with expense and technology, to achieve the results you want. Let no one else tell you how far to go. It is all about what you are happy with.
OK, let's get down to the nitty gritty. Again, this was a quick shot, about double the time and a little post-processing.
As you can see here, the curtain was ruffed, so I couldn't bounce light back from it. I had to resort to using a brolly, and bounce the static light back at the book shelf. (there's an extra glimpse in the glass of the door) The right hand side "sock light" was, "feathered," and put further back. I also twisted the jacket of the worst offending book.
There's an old saying. "Cheap thing no good; good thing no cheap." But there are times when you can get a basic, simple kit for not much money. Here, you have two light stands, two brackets, and two simple brollies for not much money. You can consider these sorts of things as cheap initiations, and you can still use them while replacing bits with more expensive equipment, as and when you can afford it. (always read the description closely to see what you get for your money. There is a difference between a reflective and a shoot-through brolly.)
One of the other bonuses is that you can get LED lights that have, "hot shoe mounts," so that you can specifically use them with equipment like this, instead of having to get in to expensive flash guns, and all the other things that come with it, like triggering. (look in the video camera sections for those)
Also, don't be scared to experiment with different framings. Some of them will work, some of them won't. That's all down to your artistic eye, and the materials and space you've got to work with.
Experiment. If you're one of those people who is a bit unsure about things ... look ... open your hand. There you go, I've just given you a license to make mistakes with your pictures. Go on ... what are you waiting for?
Last word goes to software.
This is the finished shots being, "rotation corrected," in a piece of software called, "Gimp."
Some people have hangups about, "free," software. But the landscape is changing. Professional suites like Photoshop are now being taken in to the cloud, so that Adobe can more tightly control licensing. This causes problems, particularly for people in slow bandwidth areas.
The Gimp is what is called, "Open Source," and is community driven. Big business pays for licenses, (or more usually, professional support) but individuals can use this for free. Also, being open source, it works on all platforms, Windows, Mac and Linux. You can get it here - http://www.gimp.org/
There are also community resources to learn how to use it. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=gimp+tutorials&t=canonical
The bread and butter are rotating, cropping, brightening/darkening, contrast correction and resizing. For free software ... what can go wrong?!
When combined with UFRaw - http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/ - you can even process the RAW images from cameras as well.