Aka... lern2read the manual, nub.
Since I was rather disappointed with the blahness of some of my photos, I decided to read the manual. Apparently, there are reasons for all those multiple modes, exposure settings etc.
And then I put my knowledge to the test. I needed a subject matter with bright, contrasting colors for an extreme close up shot in a room with only natural light. My house is not very colorful but luckily, I hadn't put all my Christmas decorations away... so this is what I selected as my objet d'art.
100% un-Photoshopped. It's very, very close to the actual thing. I uploaded the actual photo size so it should be clickable. Be forewarned ... that's a lot of color!
Imagine that - a manual being useful!