Hi Folks, I am a bit late joining in with the TOW, but I like to thank John L. for an excellent job well done, and sharing all his valuable knowledge and experience on the subject of Digital Photography. As John mentioned in his intro, the subject of D.Ph. is a huge one. To cover every aspect of the D.Ph.we could go on forever, especially with the fast changing technology of today. In the old days, I had to keep buying rolls of film whenever I wanted to take pictures, dropped the film off at a store, waited at least an hour (often a few days) and returned to the store for my prints. That's all gone, now I'm able to compose every shot I take on the LCD "TV screen" on the back of my camera. After I press the shutter, I'm able to instantly see the shot I took and make sure its what I want. I don't buy film anymore, the removable memory card in my camera can be used over and over again, and prefer the 256 mb card to take plenty of pics at high resolution which can be resized as an attachment for email or kept at that high resolution for printing purposes. When I take the pictures, I simply transfer the images files directly into my computer with a card-reader which transfer the contents- often 100 or more-in minutes If the pictures aren't perfect, I can delete them, I can crop and resize them, contrast and brighten them--even remove flaws if I have to, and within minutes I can see the results of my efforts. Once captured, the photos are then stored in a universal digital format that lets you move them to a computer, print them on a printer, view them on a television, e-mail them to friends, or even put them on the Web where anyone in the world can see them. There's no reason not to take plenty of photos, since you can always delete the ones you don't like. I often take up to six or more shots of the same subject and select the best images for storage. I usually delete the not up to sratch pics.in the photo-editing sofware like PaintShop. Most digital cameras look, feel, and operate essentially like a film camera. Like a traditional camera, a digital camera has a lens and a shutter, and usually also has an optical viewfinder. Instead of capturing images on film, a light-sensing device called a CCD "sees" the image. The CCD is made up of a grid of individual elements, called "pixels" (short for "picture elements"). The more pixels the sensor contains, the higher the resolution, and the more detailed the photo. When you click the shutter release, the camera converts the image the sensor sees into a file, which is then compressed by the camera (most cameras use JPEG compression, a standard format easily readable by home computers) and stored on a memory card. In essence, the camera is automatically developing your picture as soon as you press the button. After the images have been transferred, you can erase the memory card and it's ready to use again. If you're planning to archive your photos, saving them on a recordable or rewritable CD drive (CD-R or CD-RW) is a good idea. Once the images are in your computer, you can use photo-editing software (almost always included with your camera) to brighten, sharpen, rotate, and crop images, as well as enhance colors, remove red-eye, and touch up flaws. When taking a picture I prefer the Manual Recording Exposure mode, where I can choose the WhiteBalance, Metering, Focus, Exposure control, Saturation control, Image sharpening etc. to get the best picture. I am using PaintShop pro7 Millennium edition to further manipulate and adjust the images, its ideal for for the purpose I want to use it for. Like John I started off with the Nikon Coolpix 950, and have moved up to the more versatile Nikon Coolpix 995, which is already replaced by more powerful versions like Coolpis 5700 and other models To further enhance a picture I would use a grey or black background, or sometimes another colour, depending on the colour of the flowers, it gives me more detail and blocks out any unsightly background. The Coolpix 995 is packed with even more features that makes digital photography the perfect media for the amateur and the professionals. The Coolpix 995's unique swivel design allows for a wider range of shooting angles, enhancing creative leeway. The photographer can decide on the camera position while rotating the camera body, and view the LCD panel from virtually any angle. This swiveling lens feature also makes the Coolpix 995 cameras an excellent choice for attaching to microscopes, telescopes and other optical devices. The Coolpix 995's new 4x optical zoom lens also has the macro capacity to zoom in to a 2cm focal distance to produce some stunning macro shots you'd be hard pressed to reproduce with other digital camera's.Conclusion: Digital cameras have revolutionized the world of photography. Now, anyone with a digital camera, PC, and printer has the equivalent of a color darkroom and photo lab in their own home. The technology is still evolving, but has already surpassed film photography in many ways. Join the revolution--you won't be disappointed. Digital photography is becoming increasingly popular because of the flexibility it gives you when you want to use or distribute an image. When it comes to printing, the always problematic blue flowers always end up in a variety of dirty grey blues or purples, any amount of adjusting in PaintShop pro won't make any difference. John, how do you go about capturing the pure, true, luminous gentian blue in (for instance) the Tecophilaea cyanocrocus when you print? I have never been able to secure those colours in print. Do I have the wrong printer or software? (Epson stylus color 740) I will post a picture of the Tecophilaea blooms on the Bulb-Images@yahoogroups.com for you or anyone else to have a look at and to see what the true blue in Tecophilaea species looks like. Best wishes for now. Bill Dijk, Tauranga, New-Zealand (where its sunny and the temp.is a pleasant 25º C.) Tauranga : mean annual rainfall :1250 mm. Sunshine hours, mean annual : 2350 hours. Temp.mean max.Summer : 25°C. winter:///15°C/. Temp.mean min. Summer :14.5°C. Winter: 5°C. Wet mild Winters with occasional light frost.