New D7000 user needs technique/settings tips

I just bought a used D7000 from a respected forum member, who stated that he got quality photos from it, I on the other hand am having a dickens of a time. While I am slowly getting the hang of the AF (kinda, probably), my shots are just not producing really pleasing OOC JPEGS… Now I make no claims this is the cameras fault I am 99% certain that any problems I am experiencing are my own, either due to a lack of proper form/technique or improper camera settings to achieve pleasing OOC JPEGs.

The below picture is a good example, its not bad but just a little “off”. If anyone would be willing to take a gander at the photo, and let me know your thoughts I’d appreciate it. I feel that it looks too flat and somewhat artificial. I also think there may be some motion blur, which since the Mts aren’t moving probably means that my handhold technique is lacking.

Truly any advice is welcome.

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