Our family just took a plunge!  After creating photos on our iPhones and 'point&shoots', finally purchased an SLR.  After very long, tedious consideration (ask Rick - he and Soren suffered through all of it), we snagged ourselves a Nikon D3100 and couldn't be more pleased.  

We started filling the SD card instantly with a visit to Lunken Playground.  Oh my goodness! is this camera a joy to use.  But because I am now toying with such an AMAZING tool (and I really shouldn't say toying - this thing is unbelievable!  I now see the cross-comparison of photography to audio engineering) I wanted a program that would really allow me to edit and manipulate our images.  

So I started with the obvious - a photoshop cs6 trial, which had quite the learning curve, but after a few tutorials online and forum questions, I started getting the hang of it - then came the sticker shock!  That surely wasn't going to happen.  If I was going to spend 700 bucks on software, it was going to be ProTools.  Anyway, I then tripped on photoshop elements and this is what I got:

Pretty nice, right?  So for 64 bucks I opted for elements and am really psyched to dive into it.  I feel like, for the novice, it has just enough flexibility and photoshop tools to allow me to let my photo freak flag fly, but with the added benefit of having, say - a mentor standing behind you telling you exactly how to tweak that sharpness.  This has to be the most fun I have had in ages with photography and oddly enough reminds me why I enjoy audio so much.  Next - ProTools...for now, continued photo-shooting and blogging!