I have had a DSLR for so long but at the beginning, most of my photos came out with faded colors. No matter what white balance settings I used, my camera couldn't capture vivid colors. Later I realized that one of the reasons for this color degradation is the fact there is light bouncing off in all directions in a natural scene.
The solution is to use a polarizing filter which restricts the unpolarized light entering the camera. To read how it works and can help you produce beautiful photos, please read Jessica's article, How And When To Use A Polarizing Filter To Get The Best Shot.