I have learned a few things since I first purchased the camera. When I bought the camera is not when I started using the camera! It sat for several months in its box - I was intimidated by the extra dials, buttons and markings on the lenses. Finally I took the camera out of the box and did as recommended by Pentax Forum members -started taking pictures.
I can't say enough about forums, if you don't belong to a forum (there's one for every subject imaginable) not only are they an information highway, they inspire, answer every kind of question one could possibly ask, have monthly contests with neat prizes like lenses (I haven't won yet but it's a goal) that help to get you up and running with your camera. Some of the members are experts and professional photographers. The key here is taking pictures - a lot of them.
The more expensive cameras come with their own editing software for processing raw files, so Picasa was used less often. Wanting more control I began using GIMP a free source software (similar to Photoshop) it also takes far less memory space on my computer than comparable software.
I have included recent photos using the SLR camera. Unfortunately I didn't use my tripod for the distant snow shot so it was out of focus. Most SLR lenses need a tripod for distance to ensure a sharp, clear picture. The lens on a basic point and shoot camera does better a job without a tripod but not as clear as an in focus SLR lens.
Looking at my photos in this first post I am not satisfied with the small size of the photos in the template - it's hard to see any details . If I understand correctly there is plenty of band width available on Blogger, it's the template.
I am learning the capabilities of my editing software and finding out there is more than one way to do things. I wanted my snow scene to be like an artist's rendering. I edited it in black and white, so the whites had no color and were really white. I solved the focus problem and sharped it with an unsharp mask (it really sharpens). I then added more light because it was somewhat dark and contrast. I also covered the dark manhole in the street using the clone tool. This tool works well for photography because it duplicates the various colors of nearby pixels rather than using the paintbrush tool that uses only one color. I have included the raw files along with the edited version so you can see the difference between the two.