I have been playing around with my D40 indoors. Using a flash has always been my weakpoint, even with my point and shoots so I am probably a bit underdeveloped in skill here anyway!
I do not have a flash gun (yet) so it is just the built in flash. I was taking photos of my daughter in the house with the lights on (set WB to tungsten). I took some with and some without the flash as I am trying to get a feel for the flash compensation settings. Any time I used the flash her face is ghostly white. Without the flash looks a lot more natural, but a little on the dark side. I did try using various setting with the flash compensation but it made little difference. I also found on the WB menu that there is a setting for flash and wondered if this might help, but it didn't.
What else should I be looking at on the settings menu? Oh, and I was using the camera in programmed auto mode if that helps at all.
#1. "RE: Built in flash: What am I doing wrong?" In response to Reply # 0
With the flash off: Try adding in a little positive Exposure Compensation to brighten up her face. You could also try using spot metering mode with the active AF point on your daughters eye. That should improve the exposure.
Since you set the WB to tungsten (incandescent) the color temperature is 3000K. The color temperature of the flash is 5400K which is much cooler (blue) than 3000K so her face looks white. When you use the flash, set the WB to Auto. Since you seem to be using the flash for fill you have a mixed light situation where the camera should be able to do a better job of setting the WB than you can without using a color meter. In addition the flash may be over exposing her face which will also contribute to your problem, Therefore you may have to dial in a little negitive flash compensation as well. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#4. "RE: Built in flash: What am I doing wrong?" In response to Reply # 3
One more thing you might check is your ISO setting. If you're pretty high, like 400 or 800 or even higher, then the flash will most like be more than the metering system can handle -- thus the overly white faces, etc. Try setting your ISO to the lowest setting possible.....I think that's 200 on your camera if I'm not mistaken. Then run your white balance on Auto as a previous poster advised.
You might also, if your're not doing this, try setting your camera up to Aperture Priority and shoot at about f8. Do this and set the ISO low for flash pictures (where you are plenty close to your subject) and you should get great results.
When you have a greater distance to your subject (using your flash) and don't have enough flash power to adequately light your subject then at that point start raising your ISO until you get the desired result.