After this all happened I had another look round and found a great tutorial site that takes an in depth look into the shaders and the OpenGL functionality. Although this tutorial still uses a few librarys I have begun to realise that due to the open-source nature of OpenGL that this was going to be the case no matter what.
Okay so i'm now following this new tutorial chain on www.open.gl. This website is so simplistic and well written that following it has been extremely simple so far. I have learnt about VBO's and VAO's and all other sorts of OpenGL based objects. This tutorial is taking a little longer as i'm really going over the exact procedures of setting up a window and context to ensure that I'm doing it correctly and efficiently.
After the first tutorial you end up with a rectangle with different colours in each corner, like the image below:
The next tutorial goes on to explain texturing and then by two or three tutorials we are in the realms of post processing effects. I'm pretty excited to get stuck in, although I will be focusing a little more on the structure of my current program, separating all the functionality into objects and applying some sort of logging system. That way progress should be a little easier.