[QUOTE=thedirt;4947882]Take it out and shoot with it! Shoot all day. No matter how much you read and read and read, it doesn't come close to actually being out there and shooting with it.
Also, don't put it in automatic mode. If you aren't familiar with exposure, aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, ISO, etc, put it in fully manual mode and have at it. If you are curious about what each individual one does, you can always put it in Aperture Priority mode (Av) or Shutter Speed Priority mode (Tv) and then watch what happens to the other as you change it.
For example, if you put it in Av mode, focus on an object, and stop down the lens (make the f/number smaller, meaning the number itself gets bigger) watch what happens to the shutter speed. Take a few photos at different apertures and see what happens to the depth of field.
Take your manual with you just in case you get stumped, but don't rely on it to teach you how to shoot with the camera.
Okay great...that's what I try to do as much as possible!!! Digital has really helped me learn because I can see the effects right away and not what to do and not do. Thanks for the help...I could shoot and shoot...I never get tired of photography. So my next question for you Pro's what kinds of backgrounds do you have to get to where you are now? I would love to do what you do.