I was kidding about the self esteem. I thought it might arouse interest ... hehe. I am getting into photography by way of my decision to be a freelance designer. I have been a graphic designer for a while, but in office situations where the photography is taken care of for the most part. The majority of my work to date has been product photography. I have a couple of basic questions in order to get the most out of my camera and lens I purchased. I went with a the Sigma 18-50 EX Macro lens with a new Rebel XT. With the photography I have done, I almost always prefer sans flash photos. The photos with flash seem "cold" in the color department and too bright to me. However, they seem to focus better. The photos without flash seem a little on the orange side (probably my lightbulbs?). I like the effect, but I want to be able to achieve more natural color as well. Speaking of focus, I have noticed sans flash can be more easily out of focus, or is this my imagination? This is even while autofocus is intact. Should I be using manual focus instead? Lastly, I have only used lights around the house and whatever is available at the time. Can someone suggest some compact, affordable, versatile lights? I have more questions, like any beginner, but I know I've rambled enough. Oh yeah, my very last question: Do you consider photoshop cheating? I almost never get the exact coloring and lighting/tint I'm looking for otherwise. I have extensive knowledge in photoshop. If I were to have a nice collection of photographs taken by me, would that make me a "good photographer" or just a "good photoshopper?" In short, is it only "good" if your desired results come from extensive knowledge of lighting etc. rather than post editing?