I live in Red Wing, Minnesota. Most of my pictures are taken in Minnesota, which provides some great opportunities with the shifting seasons.
I have a great interest in astronomy, as well as photography, and hope to someday get a sharp, clear photo of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. This may require some additional equipment. Most people do not realize that you can get Jupiter and its moons with a tripod, a slow shutter speed and a standard 200mm lens. You could even get it with a point and shoot, assuming that you can control shutter speed and mount on a tripod. Jupiter ends up looking like a bright star, but four of its moons usually show up. Its not spectacular, but it is possible.
I shoot most photos with my Sony DSLR camera, and I have a 28-55mm lens, as well as a 70-200mm lens. Both lenses come in under $75. I rarely use a flash in any of my photos. Of the 3,500 photos I took in 2012, I believe I only used the flash 3 times. I find that photos without flash do a better job of capturing the scene, as we see it. A flash will tend to wash out those people closest to us, and leave “back row” people in the dark. I am able to use shutter speed and aperture to compensate without a flash. For moving targets, this can be a challenge — and for “living room” evening photos, I will need to use a tripod. Despite my choice to not use a flash, I believe I am able to get a lot of great photos. I am able to show the scene as it looked to an observer, which is the ultimate goal of photography — right?