Drum roll please.....
(click on the photos for full impact!)
I need to learn how to better use all the settings the external flash provides, along with fine-tuning my camera settings to take the clearest photos, but I have to say that taking photos like these straight out of the box is making me quite giddy with excitement! Eventually I'll have to get a second flash unit so I can have one on either side of the camera to cut down on shadows when taking photos of specimens. For now, the single flash unit is working great and will be all I need for outdoor photos of live insects and flowers, as I'll just need it to provide a little extra lighting, and two flashes from different angles wouldn't look very natural in that setting.
My camera equipment is now as follows:
Nikon D80 camera
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens (macro lens)
Nikon SC-28 TTL remote cord (for connecting to the flash from the camera when the flash isn't directly on the camera)
Nikon SB-700 Speedlight Flash
Manfrotto 293 tripod