Comments: A slightly wide to slightly long zoom lens such as a 28-70mm (film equivalent) is a great all-around lens. It's especially good in areas where one cannot maneuver well, such as this elementary school library. I just set up my tripod and flash, moved as close as practical, then tweaked the shot by slightly zooming in or out a little.
Usually I use a bit of fill-flash when photographing people outdoors, but it's easy to use fill-flash indoors as well. Using fill-flash indoors helps the background appear "natural" and not too bright or dark compared with your main subject.
In this shot I used Manual camera exposure mode, took an exposure reading of the overall background and set my camera aperture and shutter speed for that (I opened up 1/2 stop because of the fluorescent lighting - see below for explanation). Then I used a TTL flash unit set to minus 2/3 stops. That allowed the flash to throw in just enough light to make the scene look natural; the girl is evenly lit and the background appears normal. Using either Manual or Shutter Preferred camera exposure mode works well for this type of fill-flash shot.
But don't use Auto or Program camera mode for this technique because it will cause the main subject to be properly lit but the background would typically be too dark. That's because the camera and flash will default to about 1/60 of a second combined with whatever f-stop is needed to expose the main subject properly - background be damned. If the background needs more or less exposure you're out of luck with these settings. So use Manual or Shutter Preferred camera exposure mode with fill-flash for natural looking backgrounds indoors.
Use caution around fluorescent lighting; your exposure meter will underestimate the exposure needed so boost it about 1/2 stop, then set your flash normally. HC
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