Using the flash with correct lighting compensation. Slow syncs flash ( slow shutter )and wide aperture lens. When shooting in the dark, an external flash is a must. But, the optimal range is not to go any further than 5 meter ( 16-17 feet ). Slow shutter speed with flash will help open up the background. Meanwhile, you can also set flash power as required for a proper shooting distance. However, keep in mind that average person can't hold the camera still for anything below 1/30 second shutter speed. The better alternative ? Boost up your ISO to keep up with shutter speed; however, do not go beyond ISO 800. Beyond, ISO 800 the noise level of each picture will be so unbearable. Another alternative to that ? Get a monopod or light tripod, it will keep your camera still for shooting under the dim light. The brighter lens also helps, but mostly bright lenses are quire expensive. The cheapest one I know is Canon 50mm F1.8 . Even a mighty DLSR camera, such as Nikon D3S, today best shooting camera at the dim light, still have a hard time when shooting in the total dark. Get the correct knowledge and setting. You'll be okay. Good luck.
I have a Rebel T1i and love the camera. However i'm new at photography and was disappointed with the pics from halloween night. i know its not the camera but maybe i didn't have settings right. i tried every setting be could not get clear pics. if i put it on auto the pics would be clear but with the flash going off it took all the color detail away. And the settings without flash including the auto night setting the pics came out blurry. What are the best settings for something like that?