Today is my one month anniversary of joining the Nikon Cafe! First, let me say many thanks to Backdoctor for sending me the link and pointing me here after I became very frustrated with that other forum. I'm thoroughly enjoying the time I spend in the Cafe and now even my wife is starting to open the forums and browse through the photos. I am an amateur hobbyist in digital photography and don't currently have any intentions of selling any of my work. I recently retired which has allowed more time for this and my other hobbies, but I still find I don't have enough time to really advance my skills. I've been shooting digital for about 5 years (starting with a Canon S30 P&S) and moved to the DSLR with a D100 late in 2003 (all my film lenses were Nikon mount so there was no brand choice involved -- but, ironically, I've replaced all of my old lenses in the past year!). The addition of a D2H to the arsenal in January 2005 after the price drop and the extra time available have dramatically increased the number of shots I take. With that background, here are a few thoughts about the Cafe -- The community has grown dramatically in the past month (I was member 250), but is still a very friendly place. I find learning opportunities in almost every thread I view -- either from the quality of the shots, the composition, the locations, or the critiques that are offered. I'm amazed by the time and thought that many of you put into your responses and your willingness to share information to help others learn! The global nature of this Cafe has allowed me to communicate with folks from all over the world who share a passion for photography. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful images and letting me see things through your eyes and lenses that I may otherwise never see. I try to stay out of the Lens Lust and For Sale forums -- you're really good at making me want to spend money! :evil: But I still find myself browsing there. :wink: I spend much of my time in the Birds and Animals forum (which in the past week has become the forum with the most posts! ) since that's what I enjoy shooting the most, but find myself spending more time now in other forums looking for new ideas and learning opportunities in other types of photography. The learning opportunities throughout the Cafe are outstanding! So, I say a big "THANKS Y'ALL" for all the photos, critiques, lessons, etc that you're sharing -- keep up the great work!!! Finally, I couldn't finish this without posting at least a couple of photos. Some of you may have noticed that I've posted a number of topics that start with the phrase "From the backyard.." and have questioned where I live that I get such a diversity of birds right out the back door. So, here are a couple of shots taken at dusk over the weekend to show where many of my shots are taken. The feeder area.. Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) The birds love this quiet secluded corner of the pond (but it's right behind my fence! View attachment 9380 Looking from that quiet corner to the other end of the pond... View attachment 9381 Thanks again to everyone for making this a very enjoyable first month! Perhaps you'd like to add or share your reflections/thoughts about your time here as well!