Just to add, Jim - i have been reading through the info on the links you kindly posted, and it's been most helpful. Although i'm concentrating on using the R1, all the information seems relevant as it functions in the same way as my 350D (in my eyes anyway).
Following the information and guides, my shots have been slowly but surely improving... Many thanks!
A quick question - do you have any recommendations for this situation:
Trying to shoot sideways across the width of a car bonnet/hood, i'm low to the hood to show reflections. The camera will be close to the car on the side that i'm standing, with mecrouching down. I want to control the DOF to get the whole bonnet/hood pin sharp, and the background blurred. I don't seem to be able to get it quite right - either not quite all the car is sharp, or the whole car is pin sharp but the DOF is too large, and part of the background is sharp too. Any tips or settings i could try? I've played around with the aperature, and changing the focus point, but it's never quite spot on...