Welcome pdeeh
Been a long long time since I was in Australia.... out of Vietnam in 67 and glad to be out of there.... made me feel welcome you did. All I would say about APUG is there is a whale of a lot to learn here and all readily accessible. Smart folks here and you will find answers to nearly any question you can come up with. Only thing is, you gotta ask it. Straight away. Just ask it. And you'll get an answer. May not read like you want but you will get an answer. Study the Galleries. Lots to be learned from the prints. Some one has probably shot one like one of yours (or mine) that didn't quite work out. Their details may tell you enough to fix your problem.... or you can always ask....
And mainly the idea here is to have FUN with photography.... that is our main objective, I think.... having FUN for it should be FUN, shouldn't it. Life is tough enough coming to us head on as it does. Something ought to be fun and photography outghta be it.