I used to just think that flash photos look like crap; I know that’s not true now, I just have zero skill at it. No matter how much I bounce off ceilings, use diffusers, etc., I’m never happy with the results.
When I shoot available light, if I’m actually trying to do anything interesting I almost always shoot in Av mode, point metered, focus/meter/recompose, release the shutter. As such, there are half a dozen button presses for most exposures, but mostly I only “change” the aperture (which is mapped to main dial in Av) and the exposure compensation (mapped to secondary dial). Shooting this way makes sense to me, because it lets me think in terms of depth of field and.
In Av with flash, as I understand it, the flash attempts to fully illuminate the background. Also, focus-recompose doesn’t work (and I am not in the habit, yet, of using FEL).
Anyhow, interesting to me yesterday is that if I use the exposure compensation dial to control aperture in program mode, I get the same effect as above with second-curtain sync, the only downside being that I’m limited in apertures to what fits within the -2EV to +2EV range.
But, more importantly perhaps, I realized in the process I still don’t understand flash photography.