Yes, the ship shots tended to be lit very flat. I think one of the most effective scenes is in BoBW, with the ship silhouetted against the nebula.
Regarding the lighting of interiors, there is a superb scene in "The Child" with Wesley and Guinan in Ten Forward. It starts outside the ship, moves down and into the window. It's late at night and the bar is deserted, but there are some lovely shadows cast by the light that is coming in through the windows from the nearby star. As the ship leaves orbit, the light shifts as the Enterprise changes course, then we see the rarely-used warp jump visual from inside Ten Forward. It's a fantastic scene, and later seasons rarely attempted anything as elaborate.