I think one of the main things I've learned so far is how to us my White Balance setting. I don't think you are able to adjust it in the automatic setting so I just use "P" for program. On my Canon camera it's on the back to the right of the screen and it's labeled "WB". Once you click on that it will give you a bunch of options such as AWB (auto wb), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light (indoor lighting), White Fluorescent light, Flash and Custom.
It's so simple! You just pick the mode for whatever your lighting situation is and voila!
I played around with mine to see the difference between the settings. This one was the Daylight setting even though it was pretty much dusk.
My photography class is right across from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and our instructor had us walk over to take pictures for part of the class.
This picture was on the fluorescent setting and it turned out a lot more blue but took out the yellow.
These are just a few of the pics I captured that evening.
I really liked the cloud reflection on the water.
Some of my favorite memories as a child were playing around the sculptures especially the shuttles/birdies. It's crazy how big these are in person and the fact they are so stable just barely touching the ground.
The newish Modern Museum. This time I used the fluorescent setting and it turned out a lot better since it was darker out.
You can see some of the other photography students scattered around capturing their photos.
My best piece of advise is just get out and start playing with the settings. The best way to learn what they do is to take the same picture over and over again but with different settings. None of these pictures were taken with a flash.