Re: Question about washed out contrast due to flas
I'm with the others it doesn't look bad as far as exposure, I'd say cropping vertical is the way to go with an image like this to eliminate the distractions in the background. It might could use a little bump in contrast through curves but not much. Try calibrating as mentioned I think you'll see a big difference.
Another thing to consider is what your ISO on your camera is set at. On automatic mode a camera will determine whether or not it needs a flash output based on light and the shutter speed it's going to need. So try boosting your ISO to 400 if possible for indoor shots if you don't want the flash to fire, but keep in mind the image you posted if it was taken without a flash probably would have rendered darkness and shadows in his eyes unless there is another light source coming from in front of him.