Welcome to soco's photography conundrum! Stay a while! So I picked up, err... was gifted by my fiance, a Canon T3 w/kit EFS 18-55mm lens. Nifty! I got this having already explored quite a bit of photography with P&S cameras, and since I got it in December (Christmas gift) I've read through an entire "For Dummies" book on the camera itself, multiple online photography classes that go over the basics in great detail including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focal lengths and how they can be used creatively, and slightly started exploring HDR (but I'm promising not to over-do it). My current situation is, I currently use my limited skills in those "opportunity" moments in which I almost always have my camera with me and occassionally say, "Hey, that'd be a nice picture." and I take it and move on with my day. Not that I'm bored with this, but I guess it's knowing that I don't know even a tenth of what there is to know, I want more. Add to this the fact that I've been reading reviews on my camera and they're kind of mean lol Photography aficionados seem to really not like this piece of kit. Did I make a horrible choice? So here's some questions: I like my camera, but did I make a bad choice if I want to some day be worthy of submitting photos to the weekly photo threads? What's the best, and cheapest way to continue my learning? What is the next logical subject to delve into after the basics? I'm awfully confused about lenses. See, I just have this kit lens, and I find myself in a lot of situations where I guess I want a telephoto lens? These things are $200 for the cheapest ones I've found though. With such a low-end camera, is it worth it? Am I going to buy a $200 telephoto lens and then 6 months to a year later wind up being ready for a better camera and thus the lens winds up being a $200 rental? Maybe this is just the way of things. I haven't tried to get into post-processing yet. I own a copy of Photoshop just because it was gifted to me years ago. Is that a bit much to start with? Again, my kit is currently a Canon Rebel T3, 18-55mm kit lens, no other lenses. I'm looking for the next step. I want to join the cool kids' club here. Thanks, pals!