Melinda:

Welcome to APUG - the best discussion group around!
This group is the most informed on the net and advise is plentiful and correct. Beware of other news groups (rec.photo... et c.) A lot of misinformation is there along with acetic remarks from people with nothing else to do (certainly not photography).

Your photographs already show a good "eye" and talent.

Sincerely, dr bob.