mac5155 wrote:one question I have, is it normal to use a flash a lot? I always thought you rarely needed a flash with a DSLR.
you can get away with not using flash a little more with a DSLR because of lens options and better sensors, but generally, if you want to get a good, crisp shot, you need light from somewhere. so if there isn't enough light coming from the windows or light fixtures, you gotta use the flash. also, based on the descriptions of your lenses, the lowest aperture they go to is probably somewhere around f5. to be able to avoid flash, you will often need a lens that goes down to f2.8 or lower. i don't know about canon, but nikon has an awesome 50mm lens that is under $200 and shoots all the way down at f1.8. i imagine there's a comparable lens for canon cameras. with a 1.8 aperture, a ton of light can get through to the camera sensor, which will give you more flexibility. and 50mm is a really versatile focal length.
but even under good light conditions, you'd be surprised how often experienced photographers will use flash. for instance, on a sunny day, it's often better to have people stand in the shade and use flash on them rather than just have them get blasted by the harsh sun. or if you're near sunset, instead of having people face the sun and use it as your light source, it's sometimes better to have the sun hit their backs and shoot flash into them to light them up.
and then there's the tricky part about how the pop-up flash on your camera is generally pretty terrible. unfortunately, you're probably going to have to get an external flash that slides onto the mount on top of your DSLR if you want to be able to take great flash pics. it's a better light source, and the ability to point it at the ceiling or a wall to "bounce" it is extremely critical.
of course Hockeynut is the pro, so maybe he might be able to correct me if i'm giving you bad info. i'm still fairly green here.