« on: March 07, 2014, 03:55:02 PM »
Strobist is an awesome online resource as well. Read the Lighting 101 section for awesome tips on starting out with flash. I invested about $60 for an umbrella, bracket, stand, and ETTL cable on B&H (lower quality, I guess) but it was perfect for starting out, and you can always move up.
David Hobby (Strobist) and Joe McNally are great flash gurus and they are a blast to learn from. But they each use different methods. I prefer David Hobby because he works in the manual settings realm which is the best way to learn what is going on. Once you master things manually, you understand what is really going on and you can be much more creative.
Spend most of your time reading, buying books (try 1/2 price books too) and experimenting. Don't get too caught up in buying stuff right now. In fact, you'll learn a lot more by building your own light modifiers until you really know what you want.