A professional camera is almost magical in the hands of a beginner, but the abundance of settings, modes and functions, and the fact that using them makes things a lot more complicated, make most beginners to turn to the Auto mode. This is somewhat a blasphemy as many professional cameras actually make worse pictures on Auto. They are not designed to be used on Auto.
The first thing you will learn in at Photoion School – photography courses is to move off of Auto and to try some of the other modes on the camera like, for example, the P mode which puts you in controls of the metering and of the flash. When you have bright backlight this mode helps because you can lock exposure and focus on you subject first and then include the background so that you don`t have to use flash.
As a beginner you can also try the A mode on your camera as you control the f/ number. If the f/ is lower the camera will focus on fewer things and if the f/ is higher more things will be in focus. Use a lower f/ number when you want to make things stand out. Then you can move to controlling the shutter speed. Faster shutter speed is good for locking movement and low shutter speeds like 1/15 will help you get a blending effect as some things will appear nicely blurred in the background.
If you are a beginner stop using the zoom too much and use your legs. Get closer to things. Don`t try to get everything into the frame, focus on one or two things and try to get an excellent shot of those. Get the details of a subject and the photograph will be much more impressive.
To start understanding more about how the camera works start playing with the manual zoom function. You will notice that you can create pretty amazing photographs that look very professional when you start playing with that. Switch to auto focus mode when you are shooting in low light or objects that move fast because on manual focus it is very possible that you will take a great photo that is completely out of focus. It takes practice to be able to master the manual focus and even professionals make mistakes.
Start carrying your camera everywhere with you and take more photos. Today you don`t need to worry about the costs of film so you are free to take as many photographs as you want, but don`t try to keep them all. Even if you become fond of all your photos learn to let go and to erase the ones that are not that good. Ask for the opinion of others and don`t try to argue why your photograph is good. If they don`t like it take it as such and ask yourself what you can do better next time or even ask them what they don`t like, remember that it is nothing personal and this is the only way you will improve in the future.
If all this sounds too complicated or if you want to get more into this and learn from a professional consider a course of photography for beginners. You will save a lot of time as a professional photographer will show you how to use the advanced functions and modes on your camera and give you excellent advice and feedback. With a little help you can become an excellent photographer in no time.