Santa gave me a Nikon D-80 for Christmas.
It has the 18-55 and the 55-200 lens kit(s) and I think will be a great starter camera.
Now I know ISO is how fast the 'film' absorbs light, I know that if you set the ISO too high you get grainy shots.
I know that the faster you expose a shot, the more light you have to have and the harder it is to get the subject and any backgound to focus.
Now today I was at KMIA, and I took a LOT of shots in automatic mode (JPG fine), the few exceptions being manually focusing some shots that had something in the foreground.
Most of it was very marginal, and I knew it would be given my inexperience. I got a lot of off center, a lot of off horizon shots (odd thing was I was getting rushed and for some reason I formed the habit of aligning the horizon with the angle of the a/c body) and the lighting was usually wrong.
I did get this shot that I like looking at on my laptop(lcd), but not my desktop (CRT).
Now when you look at it in a browser (resized to fit the screen) it's OK, but when you look at it in full resolution it's horrible.
Besides shooting in NEF, RTFMing(on the to do list after the holidays), and probably taking a photography course; what other advice can you give?