I posted this in OT today, but thought it would be nice to keep this here so it doesn't get pruned. These pics should all be chronological starting in the beginning of 2007. *** I've been interested in photography since I was a little kid, and I finally decided it would be a good idea to spend way too much $$ on a camera. My first two shots with my Canon XTi. Tried messing with DOF, I guess. I took the camera to Cabo San Lucas in March for some better scenery. These guys were playing golf under the moonlight. Pretty cool. This is just off the pool at Las Ventanas al Paraiso. Pretty impressive place. Then i went to Guatemala in May for my Nephew's first birthday. I realized this camera really isn't all that impressive. Either that, or i had a LOT more to learn. I blamed the camera. I then heard that a "faster lens" would be a smart upgrade. I wasn't about to spend $300+ on a new lens for this (what I thought to be) malfunctioning camera ... so, i bought the 50mm/1.8 for a trip to Paris. This thing made me realize that the camera wasn't the problem ... it was my dumbass. i found myself using this as often as possible, even though it was a prime & not as easy as a zoom lens. i was amazed by the clarity, sharpness, and color between this & the kit lens. Normandy beach: I got back in town & realized I needed to ditch the kit lens. So, after lots of reviews, I settled on the Sigma 17-70mm. Inexpensive, much wider & longer than the kit lens, and a f/2.8 at the wide end. Not bad. Realized I really like this lens, and ended up taking my camera -everywhere-. After using the 17-70 for a while & taking pictures of the dumbest stuff ever, I knew I had to learn why my available-light (indoor) pictures didn't look good. Why was the shutter going so slow? Figured out that unless I had a flash, that a low f-stop was the cat's ass for indoor shit. I had been using Aperture-Priority mode pretty much 100% of the time until now. I now realized that if I wanted full control, I had to use Manual mode. So, I kept switching between the two modes ... seeing what Av selected really helped me to figure out what I should start at with M settings. I really started using Manual mode, adjusting white balance, using my flash, and a whole bunch of other shit (all at the same time). Things just came to be second nature, I guess, because even 6 months ago, i would have just set the camera down & gave up. I then found out about lens rental. I could try out extremely expensive lenses for really not that much $$. I'm very happy I rented the "everyone's favorite" 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens for our family golf tournament. My grandpa passed away 2 months after this photo was taken. It's easily the best & most favorite photo I've ever taken. After getting most of the basics down throughout the year, I started focusing on post production. 99% of my photos earlier in the year had barely any PP on them at all, other than maybe some white balance correction. I started cropping, enhancing, converting, applying filters ... anything i could to learn Lightroom as well as possible. it was at this time that I bought the heavily-recommended 10-22 lens as well. It was tough to spend as much on one lens as my actual camera cost, but after seeing the fun shots it will let you take, I was hooked. I then joined a golf club & started golfing 2-3 times a week. I often found myself taking out a cart by myself & not playing every hole, because I kept taking pictures. I then had a blast putting together a wedding album for some great friends of mine. I was in the wedding, but brought my camera anyway, just for kicks. I ended up putting together an entire book of photos of mine that they loved. I was really happy with how it turned out. I then went back to Guatemala in November, and realized that I was going to look like a poser if I didn't have a white lens of my own. So, I bought the 70-200 F/4L IS & brought it with me. I liked the smaller size & lighter weight of it over the f/2.8. The IS is an absolute godsend. Then the inevitable happened. I found a great deal on a used Canon 40D + Grip + 17-85IS (a new lens!). I told myself that I would NOT buy it unless I could find someone that wanted to buy my camera. Just like it was fate (or an evil wallet demon), my boss came in my office hours later and said "if you ever want to sell your camera, let me know. I'd like to buy one for my husband". So, I bought the 40D. Also ordered a new flash (580EX II). (the actual pic sucks, but i thought it was funny) So, now I'm armed with my 40D, 4 lenses, 2 flashes, 3 camera bags, tripod, and hundreds of gigs of Compact Flash cards. This is the worst hobby for people that like to save their money. I don't recommend it one bit. Okay, I really do. It's a blast, and I'm psyched to be able to have these images forever.