Please accept my apologies for failing to introduce myself when I first joined, but I lack credentials/experience enough to post anything that may be considered interesting in an introductory thread. Additionally, please allow me to also apologize for my questions, which are, to say the least, basic in nature. Sadly, after reading this forum, it has become obvious to me that even the "beginners" knowledge in here, far surpasses my skills, or knowledge, of photography. Well, enough stalling, here's where I show my ignorance. Is there a book, site, oracle, etc. that I can go to that would improve my understanding of shutter speed, aperture and what all those cool numbers such as 55mm-250mm mean? I do understand shutter speed and aperture, in the sense that I understand why they are important and what exactly they do, however, measuring, and more importantly, determining how much or little I should use is giving me fits. I liken it to understanding the ingredients in a cake and why they're important, but I'm not able to get the proper measurements down. Sugar, flower? Yeah, they both go in, but I daresay I should not add a pound of the first and a table spoon of the latter. Ok, I've shown my ignorance (yeah, I'm mortified). If I should pose this in another place, please let me know. BTW, I don't have a DSLR, at this point, because I believe I should have a firm understanding of the above before pursuing better equipment. I should be somewhat worthy of the tools I choose. I am currently using a Panasonic FZ18, which provides me numerous options...Which I'll appreciate even more as soon as I figure them out. All feedback, comments and ridicule welcome, I've got thick skin and can take it, so long as I'm learning (kidding, this place strikes me as a friendly site). I would like to offer my thanks, in advance, to those of you who offer assistance.