Originally Posted by Geoscene
Read a book or take an intro course at a community college for the basics. Then look at lots of pictures and see if you can tell how they were taken AND why you liked them. Try to copy them. It's a great way to accelerate the learning curve. A lot of people post their exif data for a photograph on Flickr.
Understanding Exposure gets a ton of reveiws. Light, Science and Magic is a great book for teaching lighting theory. It gives you more of "this is why light works" rather than, "here's a lighting setup to copy and use."
is a great site to learn lighting off of and there's regional Strobist groups throughout the world. There was a pretty good one for the DC/Baltimore/NoVa region which also included events in Philly, WV, and MD. We even had people from NY drive down to participate but it's mostly dormant right now.
Workshops are a great place to learn as well. Even paid workshops depending on who the instructor is, what they're teaching, and what you want to learn. Don Giannatti of Lighting Essentials does a pretty amazing workshop and provides models and shooting locations.
Obligatory photo in the photo thread: