Digital Photography Tip Number 20....Use Bounce Flash
Tip #20) Use Bounce Flash.... Bounce flash looks so much better and more natural than direct flash. Whenever possible use bounce flash. Bounce it off the ceiling, a wall, or anything else. If you don't have a flash hot shoe built into your camera, then it will be more difficult to use bounce flash, unless you use an off camera remote slave flash.
Flash/Strobes And Accessories!
Bounce flash versus direct flash. Direct flash gives you the most light and uses less battery power than bounce flash, but you then have harsh shadows, overexposed faces, red-eye, dark backgrounds and faces look flat with no depth.
Bounce flash eliminates red-eye, produces a nice natural lighting effect for the whole photo so the background isn't in the darkness, good exposure on faces with natural shadows to give some depth, no harsh shadows or overexposed faces or white shirts.
You do need to have a more powerful flash with good batteries to use bounce flash, especially if the ceiling is high. And most external flashes that you can use as bounce flashes come with a built-in catchlight panel that reflects some of the light directly at the subject to act as a fill-flash.
When using bounce flash, you should probably set the ISO number higher(like 400 to 800) to help brighten up the photo, especially in low light conditions. The flash won't have to fire off so much light, which will save the batteries and speed up recyle times.
When bouncing your flash, make sure the bounce angle is correct, otherwise the subject will not be illuminated correctly. Assuming that the ceiling is flat, the flash light will bounce off at the same angle that it hits the ceiling, so make sure your subject will in the general area of the bounced light.