The use of flash in photography is truly an art.  The pop-up flash that comes with your dSLR is very limited.  Knowing the best way to use it makes a huge difference.

Basics of Pop-Up Flash Use on Your DSLR


Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC)


Use the night portrait preset for the best results at night


Fill flash is a good idea to use when your subject is backlit


Don’t use the pop-up-flash for portrait orientation shots, particularly when right next to a wall. It will make harsh shadows. Only use the pop-up-flash in the landscape orientation (horizontal shots).


Fill flash can be used in the middle of the day to remove harsh shadows under the eyes and nose.