Check out this tripod at B&H. I just bought one and this thing is built like a tank. Its a little on the heavy side but very sturdy. I also added this ball head but the pan & tilt head that came with it is very nice. I use the ball head with my canon xti and the pan & tilt with my video...
Kanderson, Ignore posts from people like this that are no help at all! Play with the settings in manual mode, you'll find that there are many combinations that will place your meter at "0" and give nicely exposed pictures with different results such as: depth of field that is blurred or...
Photoshop for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby is an excellent book, well written and easy to follow. Also here are a few sites that have some tutorials:
My opinion is that the D40 is not worth spending the extra $200. However, there are many here on this forum who love their D40s and take beautiful pictures. Myself, I own a canon xti and love it!
As for the focus question, the xt has more auto focus lenses to choose from.
The moon is so bright that you need to under expose so it isn't a washed out white dot. Before I bought my canon xti, I had a kodak z712 which I'm sure is close to what you have. I got this pic with the z712, handheld, set in manual mode at f/4.8, 1/160 sec, iso 100.
Just play with similar...
You can most definitely take advantage of your student status and purchase photoshop at a greatly reduced price. This is where I purchased mine:
Hope this helps.
I really like #5 the first one with her younger sister. That picture really inspired me to try to get something similar of my daughters before its too late. The older one will soon be out of high school and the younger is nine.
Thanks for the CC, the more I look the more I agree with you. I think I'll stick with the first pic.
Swimming is such a great sport! I swam as a kid and now my daughter has chose to do so also. It's funny, her brothers and sister play soccer and she tried it and didn't care...