When I first bought my DSLR (which is a Nikon D3100) I somehow (very foolishly) felt that my photos would immediately be a lot better. It was a tough lesson to learn that a camera or lens does not make you a better photographer. It took me several months before I stopped shooting on automatic and before I finally moved from appeture priority to full manual.
A year later I can say that I take every opportunity to learn new techniques or aspects of photography and the results are starting to show.
This was taken around 15 minutes after sunset, Nikon D3100, ISO 100, F11 (or so), exposure of around 15 to 20 seconds. With a tripod of course.