So, where to start. In the class I took, the teacher emphasized "if you learn nothing else, just remember : NEVER SHOOT ON THE GREEN SQUARE AGAIN" so that's where I want to start. Grab your camera - is it set to the "green square" setting? Also know as Full Auto. If it is, this is for YOU.
Switch your camera to the "P" setting, also known as Program. In my mind, program is the "auto setting for the manual modes" - it works like auto, but you have control over a couple of things. Most importantly, the flash will not pop automatically. When taking pictures, ALWAYS try NOT TO USE YOUR FLASH. If you use your flash, it looks like a point-and-shoot picture, no matter how nice your camera.
So, back to "P" and the control you have to change a couple of things. Today I want to talk about "ISO" which is film speed, but you can think of it as how much light your camera lets in. The higher the ISO, the more light, the brighter the picture, and the ability you have to take a picture without the flash. 400 ISO is average.
So try this. When you're inside, in a room with a window, take a picture on the Green Square - your flash pops, right? Now, switch to "P" and bump up your ISO to 800 and take a picture. To change the ISO there should be an "ISO button" right on your camera somewhere - push it then scroll to 800. So take your picture - better, right?
Here are just a couple I snapped this morning (they are SOOTC which means "straight out of the camera" which means unedited):