Scott Kelby’s The Digital Photography Book is great. Really down to earth advice and tips. Popular Photography Magazine also has some good stuff for learning tips and tricks.
However, I wouldn’t get too bogged down in reading all the technical stuff, though. Obviously you need to learn the basics, but even more importantly, I would look at other great photographers and artists. Don’t worry about how famous they are. Just go to a bookstore or library and browse through. Look at work that you like and work that you don’t like. Also, check out some books in the art history section. While the tools are different, you can still learn from the visual storytelling techniques.
This is a tricky one since the 55-200 is really not made for low light. You have the right idea, so play with some practice shots and see how high you can kick the iso.
Honestly, I would try to see if you can rent or borrow a 50mm 1.8 (or if you can, 1.4). It would probably be pretty inexpensive. You might even be able to rent a different body, but that might not be necessary. Check out Borrow Lenses or any local place.
Yes I do. Please email me cody (at) codymin (dot) com for pricing on specific images.
Google invited me to shoot for one of their Doodle 4 Google awards ceremonies. They used to be huge events, but I think they’ve scaled back recently.