I recently had the privilege of attending a Guardian Photography Master Class with Anthony Epes, publisher of London at Dawn and Paris at Dawn.
What Anthony taught me has completely changed my appreciation of photography. I was reminded that it is not about using the latest camera or fancy lenses, but rather focusing on the basics. I think my biggest take away of the day would have to be the fact that it is not about your lens capability and zooming in, but more about being forced to move your feet and position yourself correctly for the shot.
If you are just starting out and you are still working in Auto Mode I challenge you to step out your comfort zone and try to work in Manual Mode. It is a lot easier than you think and your photographs will thank you for it. My advice in starting out is to set your ISO according to the light you have (100-200 for bright sunlight and higher for lower light situations) and then decide what is more important to you, be it your blurred background (set your aperture) or the movement of your subject (set your shutter speed). Fix one setting to suit the scene and adjust the other to correct the exposure (the exposure meter will let you know the required adjustment).
Give it a try! In the meantime, enjoy these bubble shots that were taken along the South Bank in London during the class.