I don’t like using a flash. I prefer to use natural light whenever possible. I have the Nikon SB-400 and have used it a couple of times. I never really got the hang of the flash. I didn’t know how to use it in any mode other than auto. I also had trouble with setting the angle of the flash to get the best results. Instead of trying to learn how to use it, I just avoided situations where I would need a flash.
I took an online class at http://www.debbiehodge.com called Capture your Holidays-2011 by Katrina Kennedy. One of the lessons was about using your flash. It covered what the settings should be when shooting in manual. I was thrilled when I tried it out! I actually got pictures on Christmas morning that I was happy about!
Here is a shot I tried without the flash. It isn’t too bad, but the color isn’t great.
And here is one I took with the flash.
I like the way the colors look in the flash picture. I was happy to come away with several good pictures on Christmas morning. I still need to practice using the flash. I had some trouble with a family picture. I did some test shots to get the flash just right, but when I got in the picture it was much darker! The flash reached the bottom row of people but not the top.
The family picture was edited and lightened a bit.