If you're completely new to this, I'd suggest to look up Guide Number (GN) on wikipedia. That should get you off on the right track, understanding how much light you get at what distance.
Besides that, you need to understand [maximum] flash synch speed.... particularly if you plan to use the flash for daylight fill.
Once you're done with that homework, then you'll find the rest easy to follow.
TTL is all well and good and convenient but it's still worthwhile to understand how the decisions are made. That'll allow you to understand your own compensation values etc. And it's not difficult at all.
Instead of relying on bounce for your primary (typically on camera/bracket) flash, I highly recommend picking up a Fong diffuser or fashion your own similar implement. But the Fongs are pretty damn useful. My only complaint is that mine kinda turned slightly bluish after a while. Anyway for secondary flashes e.g. off camera and remotely triggered, I usually just bounce off the ceiling, if it's white and not too high.
The Fongs also work well for daylight fill.
One flash is probably insufficient unless you have a lot of ambient and its at around 5000K (or you're willing to gel your flash...nah). To do this right I would have one flash off camera and pointed up to serve as broad bounce, and one flash with a Fong pointed at your subject. The next best option would be to have one flash with diffuser on a big bracket so that the flash is far enough off-axis from the lens to prevent deer-in-the-headlights effects.
Originally Posted by DividedSky
Oh and as was already mentioned, no need to trick TTL, it measures TTL :)
Oh how I love natural light....
1+ on the Fong with the SB-28. I got one when I got the SB-28 a couple of years ago.....it was well worth it. Much softer look to anything I do with it.
Your question #1 isn't what I think as basic flash photography. It's considered as a fill flash situation where you have sufficient ambient light to make the exposure but want the flash to fill in the shadow areas. It should work just fine the way you said it provided you have sufficient ambient light.
For basic flash photography I tend to think to situtation where there isn't sufficient ambient light for proper exposure and you don't want to use too slow a shutter speed. In which case you would set the shutter speed to a reasonable speed at or below 1/250, choose and aperture and let TTL does the exposure for you.
You don't have to dial in compensation because you bounce the flash.
TTL will work in manual exposure mode.
Because we shoot film and trial and error technique takes too much time and costly, using a flash meter is a good option.