Okay everyone, this could take a while, hope you are sitting comfortably. So, I have decided that I should have more hobbies, or at least put more effort into the ones I already have. One of those happens to be photography. I like photographs, I like looking at photographs and I like taking photographs. The issue is, I don't think I'm very good at it. Ok, so I'm not awful, images are always in focus but when I look at what other people can do with the same equipment I feel like I should be able to do better. Thus I am asking the photographers of macrumors to aid me. (I know I could post on a photography forum, but I figured there are plenty of photographers here, and they are (mostly) friendly, plus I do have some computer questions too). So, what equipment do I have, well: Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D) Kit Lens (EF-S 18-55) Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Zoom Lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens So, firstly I have a couple of equipment questions 1. Although I like all kinds of photography, my favorites are cityscapes and sporting events. Are there some lenses I should consider that would be a significant improvement over the ones I have, remembering that this is a hobby so I cannot afford 'pro' lenses. 2. On the digital rebel (and probably most digital cameras) you get a choice of image size (usually something like small, medium, large). In terms of image quality should one always choose large assuming all other factors being equal and that storage space is not a factor (I have a 4Gb memory card)? 3. Most of the time I set my camera to full automatic, I can probably get better shots if I use a different mode, perhaps something like Av. What modes should I consider investigating? 4. Is there any other equipment, other than lenses, that you might recommend? Ok, so thats the equipment questions (al least for now). So on to the next stage - research: 5. What reading materials would you suggest to help me improve. I have a healthy understanding of the physics of light and photography, I just need more practical guides to get more from my camera. And finally, storage and editing. This is the part where I am completely clueless. In the film days I would take photos, have the developed and that would be that, and that mentality has continued in my digital days, namely I take the photo, download it to my computer and that is that. However, I know that I can improve the quality of my images after the fact by using software. The question is, where to start. Even if I decide upon which software (no idea) how would I know what to do to an image to improve it, or is it a case of trial and error? Ok, so more focused questions: 6. What software should I consider for editing/storing my images? I cannot afford Photoshop, so I was looking at Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements, as the ones I could afford (are there others?). How do they stack up against each other? What are the strengths/weaknesses of each? (I know there have been plenty of threads about this but I thought I'd ask in the context of my situation) Edit: Forgot to mention, I do qualify for education discounts. 7. How do you know what to do to an image to improve it? Are there tutorials that will guide me? Ok, I think I have rambled long enough. Thanks in advance for all the help. I'm sure there are more questions that I have temporarily forgotten, and I am sure I will have more questions as I progress. Also, just for interest, one of my end goals is that I would like to take some of my better images and mount them on the wall to brighten up my dreary apartment.