I'm really interested to know if most of you photographers are self-taught or if most/some of you took courses/got help and advice from an 'expert' friend? If you are self-taught how exactly did you go about it? Books? Trial and error? Practise, practise, practise? Natural brilliance? I'm confident enough in my ability to take good photos, I'm really happy with the collection I've put together over the past few years, I think I have a good instinct for what will look great, but having just bought my first DSLR it's a whole new ballgame for me on the technical side! I really, really want to learn the 'mechanics' of photography (eg I need to move away from these Auto settings, I'm clueless about exposure, etc) but I hate courses! Maybe spending five years in college just put me off. Would you just recommend that I bury my face in a few books for a while, or do you think a course is the way to go? Would appreciate any advice, thanks.