OK, I'm now suffering from the effects of information overload...so I'm gonna ask a couple of simple questions, and hopefully you guys could answer them for me in layman terms! (Please note my questions are related to indoor shooting only at this stage) 1. My Canon Speedlite 430EX II's built-in wide panel is there to combat "light falloff" when using wide-angle lenses (could my 17-85mm be considered as wide-angle? Maybe just barely), and has no real ability to soften the flash, right? (With other words, it couldn't be considered as a diffuser) 2. Bounce cards and Sto-fen omni bounce flash units are really only effective when you are bouncing the flash, right? So when shooting the flash directly it really is of no help? 3. To minimize the effect of shadows when shooting the flash directly, one should use a flash mounted softbox, or step down the EV compensation of the flash - any other ways? I achieve great results with bounce flash but still need to sort out optimal settings and techiques when bounce is not possible...I'm also not happy with using more than ISO400 so flash is of the essence to me. Any comments, corrections or additional explanations would be appreciated!