How light works.
What is exposure,.
What is aperture and how it affects the image and light intake, and subsequently, depth of field (DOF), which is probably the neatest thing about having large lenses and large sensors..
How shutter speed affects exposure.
How to read a histogram.
And so forth..
Buying a DSLR and putting it into auto mode is like buying a ferrari and getting a private driver to take you around places..
Learn to control light, and you will take phenomenal pictures,.
If you dont, then you will never understand what makes a good picture, and why your results for the most part will be mediocre...
Is there anything in particular that you recommend that I could read that would help with this. I have purchased DSLR for dummies and I am waiting for 'Nikon D40/D40x Digital Field Guide to come in...
These are just some examples, the net if filled with this junk (information).
"P" mode is great for getting to know and use your camera. I used only the "P" mode for the first week or so. Now I use the "A" mode 80% of the time, I still use the "P" mode when I need to take many pictures and react fast, it does a pretty good job..
Tbh I didn't know anything when I got my camera, many people advice against getting a DSLR as a first camera and to an extent they are right. It took me a lot of reading(on these forums, books, internet sites etc.) to understand the basics and I am still learning. For me that is part of the fun tho..
Have fun with your new camera, try out new stuff and you will learn from your mistakes ..
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I as well just purchased a D40 though I sprung for a Nikkor 18-200VR. Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure has been very helpful. Im hooked!Gary..