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Being 40 has definite advantages. For instance, toys get better with age. Much, much better.

Like my new “Big Girl” camera! An Olympus PEN E-PL1. I am so excited about this camera, I could just squeak! It’s really cool, and has a lot of “room to grow.” I hope having this on my hip, rather than my (now deceased) point & shoot camera, or my (woefully inadequet) Blackberry camera, will bring much more dynamic pictorals here on Comfortably Domestic. That is my plan, anyway.

The reality? I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. None. So far, I’ve been taking really nice photos on the “Auto” setting. I rock the Auto setting. But this camera can do SO much more than Auto. Far be it from me to stifle this little beauty’s creativity. No one wants to be stifling. It’s bad for a relationship.

So, I need your help! Amateur Photogs out there, my questions are this:

1.  What the heck do I do with my new camera?  I’ve plowed through the manual, and while it makes a little sense, I don’t understand much of it. I’ve spent the weekend delving into PW’s archived posts about Aperture,Shutter Speed, and Photoshop. I can take the next class available to me at the camera shop in town, but that isn’t until May.

2. Where do I go from here?  Do you have any favorite instructional photography sites? I looked for a book called “Elementary Photography for the Desperate Housewife & Blogger,” but no such title seems to exist. I’m looking for as much free educations as I can get.