After I noticed that a few of my close friends were not camera shy and very photogenic, I thought I'd ask if they would mind posing for a few pictures. To my surprise, they were very enthusiastic about it and it turned out to be a great learning experience. Again, something that I want to document and improve on.
I have always hated the built-in flashes on cameras, no matter how fancy the camera is. Maybe my D80 isn't the pro top-of-the-line model, but it is better than point and shoots, and I still hate the built-in flash. It's a little more bearable because it has more power and control (EV), but at times that just causes harsher shadows and blown-out highlights.
I have played around with a lot of the settings, trying to get the best exposure, but in the end, the harsh lighting that they cause is a turn off. I'm not blaming the manufacturers, because they can only put so many features into a camera. I’m also getting annoyed with the reflections I get from different surfaces with the built in flash.
Since I’m not a fan of pumping my ISO up to 1600, to shoot with a faster shutter, I’m thinking about alternatives for the built in flash. I know my goal should be to improve other elements, but living in Canada a lot of my photography happens at parties, get-togethers and generally indoors, where I don’t have good, bright lighting.
For the first 350 shots or so that I took with my new D80, I was very stingy with the ISO setting. Even in dark situations I would change it from 100 to 400 which didn't really help much in terms of increasing the shutter speed. I was always worried about introducing too much grain into my pictures;