New to the forum and relatively new to "real" photography. I've been wanting to learn more about photography for awhile but with the recent birth of my daughter I've finally been motivated to get with it. I have read a great deal on the internet and have read a number of great books. A few recommendations of the top of my head: Understanding Exposure (Bryan Peterson) Understanding Photography Field Guide (Peterson) Digital Photography Masterclass (Tom Ang) Within the Frame (David DuChemin) I also enjoyed Michael Andrew's Canon 50D "crash course" DVD. After much research I decided on the Canon 50D and bought two lenses with my first DSLR... the Canon 28-70mm f/2.8L and 50mm f/1.4 I've been shooting for about a week and have decided that at least for the first few months I am going to focus (no pun intended) on optimizing "in camera" processing and cropping. I will probably get Lightroom later but for now I'm just using the included Canon program for minimal adjustments to contrast, saturation, etc without any cropping. I read everything I could find before I had my camera in hand and went straight to manual and creative modes. Auto mode in an expensive DSLR is for posers IMHO... but I digress. All shots are in manual or aperture priority mode and made with natural light. Shot in RAW and converted to JPEG for publication. Minimal processing in Canon's program. Have at it... Canon 50D 70mm f/2.8 1/400 Canon 50D 50mm f/1.4 1/30 Canon 50D 70mm f/2.8 1/30 Canon 50D 70mm f/2.8 1/400 This was a metering challenge. There was harsh sidelighting that made it difficult to keep the foreground and not blow out the sky. I would've like to see a little deeper blue in the sky on this one but I couldn't bring it out without changing the overall character of the photograph. I have a polarizer filter but didn't use it. Canon 50D 70mm f/2.8 1/50 The couch is the same color as the cat's eyes but it's been washed out a bit. I only had a few seconds to get this shot and was in manual mode. I would've liked more time to nail the exposure. Thanks in advance!