I've learned that the shutter speed you choose can make a big difference in the way your photos look. The faster the shutter speed, the better the camera is at stopping the motion in the scene. Here are some examples of photos taken with various shutter speeds.The above photo was taken at a fast, "stop action" speed of about 1/250 of a second. The photo of the two dogs below was taken at a slower speed, so the dogs are a bit blurry. Their feet are the blurriest because they are moving the fastest (and would soon take the dogs through my flower bed). The slower shutter speed gives you a good sense of the dogs' motion.
In the next picture, the shutter speed is even slower, and the guy tearing out the floor of our family room following our little flood of a few weeks ago is so blurry you almost can't tell that he's a person (except that his shoes are clear because his feet aren't moving).
The last couple of photos show VERY slow shutter speeds, of 2 or so seconds. I took these photos outdoors at night, "painting" by moving the camera around.