M., question and answer on bulletin boards is a poor way to learn anything. The medium isn't conducive to good teaching.
Buy a good book. My favorite book on basic photography is A. A. Blaker's Field Photography. Long out of print, available used through, in alphabetical order, www.abebooks.com, www.addall.com, www.amazon.com, and, sometimes, eBay.
Al can teach you all you need to know about operating a camera. But there's more to that, and you'll have to do it yourself.
After you succeed in taking well-exposed in focus pictures, look at your work with a very critical eye. If you've absorbed enough of what Al explains about what the controls do, you'll be able to reason from what doesn't please you in your results to what to change in your procedure to get more pleasing results.
Determine what doesn't please, determine why, puzzle out a solution to the problem, try it, ... That process will never end. No one can do it for you, no answer on a bulletin board can help you much with it.
Good luck, have fun,
Appreciate that, Dan, and I take your point.
Bulletin boards are not the way to go for general educational purposes. Too esoteric; threads often meander. They serve up tips best.
As a over sized, cigar chompin' Englishman once said, I shall 'endeavour to perservere'.
I will look up the book though. Cheers M.