Im new to the forum and new to photography. I recently bought a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR 8-MP. Im not sure if Im asking the right questions to demonstrate my goals so let me relate this to another hobby, Golf. Low handicappers in golf take the game rather seriously, they are very knowledgeable about the game, invest in good equipment, and commit time to practice. They have demonstrated some talent, play very well and end up consistently with very good results. High handicappers struggle with their game, they play mainly for enjoyment. Once in a while theyll make a good shot, but the best equipment doesnt make a difference, they dont have skills or talent to utilize it. I have a mid range handicap, I may have the talent to be a low handicapper, I make several good shots in a round, but dont have the time practice and I am not consistence enough to be a low handicapper. So back to photography, Im hoping to be a Mid Range photographer, make a few good shots but they dont have to be the best. My wife and I travel quite a bit in the desert southwest, so were looking to take a lot of landscapes along with macros of wildflowers and hopefully, some wildlife. Another hobby is boating on the Colorado River. We like to pull the kids on a tube or wakeboard. Id like to be able to get some shots from the boat of them including close ups of faces.So with all that being said, Im looking for the right lens. I dont mind spending money for quality, but I dont want to spend money for a feature I wont or cant use properly. The camera came with a 18 55 AF lens. Im looking at a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom. Hoping the IS would be adequate for the boating action shots. Thanks in advance for any input.