there are many excellent books, sure, but there's still nothing like having someone who knows it tell you in person -- or on a forum like this.

each of you guys IS a book, and you should be flattered at the steady stream of newbies coming to you for inspiration and help ... I always am, always take a question as a chance to spread the magic and mystery, to get a new person interested, then tell them to find a good book.

the ansel adams books, by the way, I've always found impossibly impenetrable -- too technical -- the zone system is good for the technician, but will scare most people away. John Hedgcoe had some good basic books in t he 70s and 80s with lots of illustrations that are far better for a beginner.

but there's nothing like someone who knows. So be patient with newbies, guys -- they're the ones who'll make sure Ilford stays in business.