In my class in college I'm largely considered the camera guy (also the guy who can fix weird things on the Macs). And people often come to me asking how to take good pictures. So I try to impart some of the infinite wisdom I've gained in my 2 years with a camera and no formal teachings.
There's a bit of an issue though. People think that there are magical settings on their camera that will allow them to take good pictures. As frustrating as that is, it's hard to get to people to break away from that point & shoot mentality only made by worse by smartphones. But that's not to say there isn't a setting that will allow you to take great pictures.
It's called Manual.
I've hardly moved the dial from that little M since the day I got my camera. The very real problem with manual is that you will miss some shots. Perfect moments lost forever. Tragic. But every great shot you miss will teach you how to get it right the next time. Hopefully. You'll share mistakes: motion blur, misjudged timing and bad exposures, but you'll get to know your camera intimately and how to bend it to your will.
And that's how you take great photographs.