Q. I'm not getting very good flash pictures. Most are too dark or have dark shadows. I have three cameras: a Minolta 101, Minolta XD-11 and a Minolta X-700.

I have a Honeywell Auto Strobonar 770, a Vivitar 283 and a Minolta 360 PX. The Honeywell and Vivitar aren't working; I don't know if I should spend money to fix them.

I would like to know the best flash to buy for each camera.

A. First make sure that you are setting your cameras on the proper speeds for flash synchronization by checking your instruction manual.

Use your 360PX for the X-700. It has a through-the-lens program flash mode and should work well. It can also be used on the XD-11, but if you want a second unit, do some camera store browsing. Take the camera along and look at the Vivitars and Brauns. They range in price from $29.95 to about $150.

For the 101, I'd think carefully before investing any money. It has some age, and for just a little more than a good flash, you can buy an Infinity Jr. with its own flash.

Q.

We own an Argus 573 slide projector that is failing rapidly. We also have approximately 200 Argus slide trays -- filled, catalogued and labeled.

What options do we have available for a new slide projector? I was told that Hanimex made a machine that would accept straight trays. I've made lots of calls but to no avail. What to do, what to do?

A.

I checked with several retailers who handle both Hanimex and Kodak. They told me that the Hanimex trays are different from Argus.

Your options? Bite the bullet, spend some money and be prepared to do some re-cataloguing. That's what most of us in your situation have done.

I went for the Kodak Carousel, which has become the standard. There are several models, and you should examine them all. They will vary in price depending on the lens you choose and the niceties you want. I like a zoom lens and a long-cord remote. I also like to keep an extra bulb and use a sturdy carrying case designed for my projector model.

You can get trays that have different capacities. I would suggest you consider the 140-slide trays during your change-over. Don't despair! You'll get a big charge at looking at some of those old slides again.

Q.

Well, I took four rolls of film at Christmas with my new camera and two more the next couple of days. I took them to a store for processing, and when I got them back I was very disappointed. The pictures themselves weren't bad, but they looked weird. The color on some was very pink, and the color on others had a brownish cast. Only one roll seemed normal. Where should I take my film to get real colors?

A.

Never, never take more than one roll of film to a place you've not used before. If you like the work, try again. But you should be sure to take a roll to several places. Pick the shop that not only does good work but is helpful identifying mistakes and is price competitive. Most important, once you find a place that suits you, stay with it.

Saturday morning at 11, I'm going to visit with Ed Walker at WWRC radio. That's 980 on the AM dial. We'll talk photography and answer some telephone questions. Give a listen.

Here are two events for the New Year:

First, the Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, a local environmental education and conservation organization, is sponsoring a series of four nature photography workshops. They are:

"Wildlife Photography: Two Approaches," January 14, presented by Bates Littlehales, former National Geographic photographer and one of the nation's leading outdoor and underwater photographers.

"Photographing Birds," January 21, by John Trott, naturalist for the Madeira School and a contributor to Bird Watcher's Digest.

"Wildflower Photography," January 28, by Kent Minichiello, nature photographer and Mathematics Professor at Howard University.

"Nature Composition," February 4, by Rob Simpson, Professor of Natural Sciences and Photography at Lord Fairfax College.

Cost: for Audubon members, $24; for non-members, $32.

The Society is at 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, Maryland. For registration information call 652-5964. I recommend this series, especially since I have been a fan of Littlehales' work for decades.

Next, the Fairfax County Park Authority Conservation Division has announced its "Nature Photography '88." This contest, one of the most prestigious in the area, is open to all photographers, who may submit up to 12 slides (no prints) in any of three categories: nature flora, nature fauna and natural environment.

Slides in the natural environment category must be taken in Fairfax County. Slides in the other categories can be taken elsewhere, but all plant and animal subjects must be species that occur naturally in Fairfax County.

For entry forms and other details, call the Hidden Pond Nature Center, 451-9588.

Write Carl Kramer c/o Weekend, The Washington Post, 1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC 20071.