Venture away from auto mode. Whether you use a quality point-and-shoot or DSLR, your first instinct is to set a new camera to auto and keep it there. In most situations this strategy produces good photos. But you can turn average pictures into stunning images by taking control of the settings. Don't start, however, by switching to full manual. Familiarize yourself with the two main settings, including what they do and how to use them, first. By using one of the Priority modes you'll choose one setting and your camera will automatically set the other. Use Aperture Priority to choose depth of field (how much of the image, from near to far, you want in focus), or Shutter Priority when you want to freeze or blur movement.