Thank you for sharing. I literally poured over the photographs and comments. You admirably shared at the risk of exposing your inexperience and I, for one, benefited from both the images and the critique. I look forward to more!!
Wes: Your closeup photos of the plants and bugs are great. They clearly show that the D800/D800E is an awesome machine. Keep sharing. Every time I head towards the D700 for budget reasons, I see D800 photos and start running the numbers again in my head
PhotoSpydie: You identified a major strength of the Nikonian community - a secure environment where a person can share their work or post their questions or comments. The replies are always intended to instruct and to foster improvement. Also saved me from some potentially dumb purchases. In my four years with Nikonians, I have read only one post that was clearly insulting and mean-spirited. The community was quick in its judgement.
I love the idea of the email school of photography that Ming has setup. What a great way to make learning fit into your own schedule and terms. However, it falls apart for me when I found his 'tuition'. $800 for 10 lessons!!!!! Sorry, but $800 is very steep for Ming just to sit at his computer, send you some tasks, and then type back a few lines about each photo you email him. I'd much prefer a hands on course in person for that kind of coin.
I cannot thank you enough for sharing your experience on your blog. Even your your thoughts behind selecting a perspective or why a particular photo works (or not) as per your expectations is helping me out.