You won't believe it, but this picture is a 40 year old slide, scanned to create a digital file. It's along the Bruce Trail on the north end of the Bruce Peninsula. As you can see, the light made all the difference to the colour in the water here. And the water really does look like this on a sunny day in June.
'Think about what you're going to use your photos for'. I tend to do this at the start, and go out taking pictures specifically for the purpose I have in mind - posting here, doing a blurb book, writing articles for local newsletters, or giving talks like the one I'm giving on the Niagara Escarpment in two weeks. But there are lots of other things you can use photos for too. You may get to this later on as you see the possibilities, but keeping it in mind gives a purpose to your photography, and gets you out shooting pictures more often.
So before I ever got beyond the automatic setting on my camera, I was improving my photography through these three ideas. I did eventually get beyond the automatic setting, but that will come in a day or two. Comments, corrections, and suggestions are welcome with these posts; that's one way to learn!