For a lot of newbies, the easiest way to start using your new camera, is to set it to the auto setting and fire away, this will mostly give you a good shot, mostly with correct exposure and sharpness.
However, for the times when the subject is backlit as in this sunset over the Manning River, there are a couple of tricks, while still using the auto setting which will give you a fantastic shot, with correct exposure and a sharp image.
When you have set up the subject, whether, still or animated, instead of focusing on the bottles, in the image below, with the sun shining straight at them and forcing too much light onto the sensor, focus on the table or chairs or the grass under the table, press your shutter button half-way, keep your finger half pressed, move back up to the bottles until you have the image composed as you want the image to look and press the button all the way, until you have taken the shot.
In the two images of the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park in Sydney, if I used the auto setting I knew the huge expanse of sky would force the lens to close up and make the image too dark, if I exposed for the whole scene, instead I took a reading, again by pressing the shutter half way and exposing for the large dark expanse of trees on the left. Then moving the camera and re-composing the image before pressing the shutter button all the way. This produced the image below, which is overexposed, and too much light has hit the sensor.
I then took a reading from the memorial itself, again pressing the shutter half-way, holding this position and moving the camera until I had re-composed the scene as I wanted and pressed the shutter all the way. The result was the image above, with good colour in the grass, trees and a little bit of depth in the clouds over the harbour.
When using the auto setting, and in this setting of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse on the south west corner of Western Australia, the couple are off-centre, but you still want them to be sharp and in focus. Move yourself into position for the scene that you want to photograph. Move your camera so that you can focus on the couple on the left, press the shutter half-way, keeping the shutter half-pressed, move back to include the light-house and press the shutter all the way to take the image