How can I learn to use my camera better?

I've always loved art and photography and had a Panasonic DMC-FT2 for several years, just your standard tough camera. I got given a Nikon D3100 a few months back and I really want to learn how to use it properly, and to teach myself about photography and composition and the like. I'm not using it much because I dont know how to really, I mean I can use it off automatic but then its just your standard photos that don't look anything special - at the moment my friends are just asking me to take photos of them at parties which is stupidly easy, as I just use it on auto to keep them happy.. Are there are creative and fun ways to get to learn my way around my camera? Asides from reading the manual over and over, I mean to learn about aperture and ISO as hands-on as possible- the stuff that you dont worry about with a point and shoot. Even online articles wold be greatly appreciated :)

Asked By: Skittles - 12/26/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
I'll guess that you've already taken the time to read & study the Owner's Manual for your camera. This video tutorial will still help you... More
Answered By: EDWIN - 12/26/2012
Additional Answers (4)
I bought a Nikon SLR three years ago, I also bought a Field Guide. It shows you how to do all sorts of stuff with it. Then I just played about with it using the guide. It isn't the manual, it's a complete separate book about using the effects etc.
Answered By: Smiffy - 12/26/2012
Read the Manuel with the camera by your side, and a table top composition so you can take the picture and review it at every setting. Get yourself photo magazines look at the photos to see why composition works with the photo published they give the aperture, iso shutter speed settings
Answered By: jeff - 12/26/2012
Aside from the answers already given, local community colleges or similar institutions, local camera clubs etc. often offer photography courses for a fair price.
Answered By: Maria - 12/26/2012
go over to youtube, search on b&h photo video... More
Answered By: Vito - 12/26/2012
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