Using artificial light sources can significantly improve the quality and drama of your photographs. One of the most basic lighting tricks in photography is to angle the flash up towards the ceiling or back to the wall and ceiling behind the photographer. "Bounce" lighting causes the light from your flash to spread out (softening it) and hit the wall or ceiling and bounce back (softening it even more) before hitting your subject. While bouncing the light from a flash does weaken its strength, the added softness produces a much nicer image, plus gives an added bonus of reducing the risk of red eye.
Another trick is to bounce your flash while turning it into a bare bulb light, usually via a light modifier such as the Stofen Omni Bounce or a homemade version of the same thing. The advantage to light from a bare bulb is that it spreads in every direction and bounces off many surfaces. The result is very even lighting that cleans up shadows in every direction. This is even a useful technique with studio lighting. You can remove the lights' reflectors and point them at the ceiling and create a very soft, even lighting.
For pro photographers, wireless off-camera strobes are the tools of choice to provide either studio quality lighting or heightened drama. Creative amateurs on a budget can do almost as well with lamps or work lights, particularly since digital cameras can white balance for unusual light sources.
Side lighting can produce striking images such as the illustration of Randi and the bar set up shown on the previous page of this article. While this was done with one off-camera flash positioned to the right of the model, it could have been just as easily done with a table lamp or work light set off to the side.
Painting with light is yet another lighting trick that offers interesting results. This can be done with almost any light source from a portable flash unit to a flashlight or even a candle. The idea is to set your camera up for a long exposure (multiple seconds) and then paint the scene with light (either through multiple pops of the flash unit or by moving your flash light to illuminate various parts of the scene). This is a fun and creative way of playing with light that only needs a camera that can keep its shutter open a long time, a stable surface to operate the camera from, some darkness and a light source.