First of all, for the inquiring minds that want to know, the new camera is a Canon Digital Rebel xSi with 12.2 megapixels. I did a lot of shopping around and reading reviews for literally months before purchasing this one. For the record, the best price was always at Amazon.com.
Anyway, I've been shooting with just the lens it came with as I haven't really had any need for the zoom lens that I also bought. I'm hoping to play with that more this weekend. Anyway, here are some more pictures...straight out of the camera, with no editing and no flash.
After reading some more in my camera instructions and on some blogs online, the three things I have primarily been messing around with on my camera are ISO, aperture, and white balance.
ISO is sensitivity to light and you can control this even on most point and shoot cameras (we have a Kodak Easyshare and it has this feature). The lower the number, the less sensitive to light. So if you're outside on a sunny day, not using a flash, you can take great pictures with a low ISO. By contrast, if you're inside, as I was in the previous post, with not a lot of light, you can use a higher ISO, which is more sensitive to light, and get away with not using a flash (for more natural color). However, the higher the ISO, the granier (or noisier) your picture may turn out when enlarged.
Aperture is how much light your lens lets in. A wide aperture (low number) lets in a lot of light and will blur backgrounds when you take a picture. A higher number will create a smaller opening and help everything in the picture be in focus. That's pretty much all I know about aperture. I don't think there's a lot you can do about this on a point and shoot.
And then there's white balance, which you can also adjust on a point and shoot. I don't know much about this either other than that most cameras have settings for automatic white balance, sunny day, shade, cloudy day, and artificial light. Playing around with the white balance can add more warm tones or cool tones to your picture.
Everything in this post was shot with an ISO of 100, aperture f5.6, and with the white balance on cloudy since it was partly cloudy today. Obviously with no need for a flash. And they have not been edited or enhanced a bit.
And that's about all I've got for you today. Remember, I'm not a pro, don't aspire to be one, and don't aspire to teach photography. But I don't mind sharing what I learn along the way either. A lot of what I learned came from this blog: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography.