Following on from Deadlys suggestion, use this sticky to post any useful photography tips, tricks, advice or links you wish to share.
Here’s a few to start with that have been culled from various sources.
NOTE – These are only general guidelines and not strict rules to be adhered to, and some may not be applicable to all cameras.
FILL THE FRAME - (taking a walk around your view-finder) - Scan the top, sides and bottom of your view-finder. Your main subject should nearly touch these boundaries. If it doesn't, move closer to the subject.
BE SELECTIVE - Discern what you are really interested in and centre your efforts on getting the best photo of this subject, be sure to keep anything that would distract, out of the picture.
SUNNY 16 - On a bright sunny day set your aperture to f16 and your shutter speed as close as possible to your ISO rating. This will produce properly exposed pictures.
FULL MOONEY 11 - For proper exposure of a full moon set your aperture to f11 and your shutter speed as close to your ISO rating as possible.
HALF MOONEY 8- Use the above rule for shutter speed and use an aperture of f8 for pictures of a half moon.
QUARTER MOONEY 5.6- Use the above rule for shutter speed and use an aperture of f5.6 for pictures of a quarter moon.
SUNSETS - Meter the area of sky directly above the sun and use this setting as the basis for exposure. Using one f-stop less light will produce the effect of a picture taken one half hour later.
"RULE" OF THIRDS - One of the most popular 'rules' in photography is the Rule Of Thirds. Imaginary lines are drawn dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically (see the image below). You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect.
LOW SHUTTER SPEED - To prevent camera movement blur when hand holding the camera use a shutter speed which most closely matches the millimetres of the lens you are using. (i.e. – For a 200mm lens set the shutter speed to 1/250th)
DEPTH OF FIELD - Use a higher f-stop (smaller aperture) to increase depth-of-field and a lower (larger aperture) to decrease depth-of-field.
PALM READING - To select an average tone exposure reading, "read" the palm of your hand with your thumb extended. Then, using your thumb up reminder, open up your aperture (smaller number) one stop.
FOCUS - Focus 1/3 of the way into the picture and use f16 for the greatest depth of field.
PHOTOGRAPHING A CAR - A three-quarter front view makes the most effective photograph for selling a car.
PHOTOGRAPHING LANDSCAPES - Assume that a dramatic "photogenic" effect will rarely last more than one hour.
TAKING PICTURES INTO THE SUN - When back-lighting is apparent, open the aperture an extra one and a half stops.
VIEWING A SCENE – Close one eye to reduce your depth perception when viewing a scene and get a better idea of how your final image will look.
GOOD COMPOSITION - Mentally divide your view-finder into four areas. Look into each area and eliminate anything that isn't necessary.
HEADS - Look at the top of your view-finder and ask yourself if heads are included. If you don't ask yourself this, then 50% of the time heads will be partially or totally missing.
FEET - Look at the bottom of your view-finder and ask yourself if feet are included. If you don't ask yourself this, then 50% of the time feet will be missing.
HORIZON LINE - A picture taken at a slight angle to the horizon will look out of balance somewhat like a painting which isn't hung straight on a wall. Look in your view-finder and ask yourself if the horizon line is parallel to the top and bottom of your view-finder. If you don't do this, the horizon line in your pictures will be tilted 90% of the time.
WILDLIFE - Final image size and sharpness will decrease proportionately as the desirability for the picture increases. To reverse this effect, look through the view-finder and ask yourself how many times you could stack your subject on top of itself, moving from the bottom of the frame to the top. If the number is greater than four your picture will lack impact. Move closer to your subject or use a bigger lens.
CENTRE - There is a natural tendency to place all subjects in the centre of the picture, known as the "bulls-eye syndrome." Place the main subject or centre of interest anywhere but the centre of the picture. The centre is a very important place in a picture; however, when the subject is placed in the centre it becomes so powerful that nothing else can compete with it.
BLUE SKY - A clear north blue sky is a middle tone. An exposure reading using the blue sky as a source will produce a proper daylight exposure.
WATERFALLS - Use an average exposure reading as a base then reduce the exposure by one f-stop for detail in bright sunlit water.
FOCUS - If your subject has eyes, focus on them.
PORTRAITS - When taking portraits, squint, look at your subject and ask yourself if you still see detail in the shadows around the eyes. If you do, shoot. If not change the lighting or have the subject change position.
GREY SKIES - If the sky is overcast, try keeping it out of the picture. This is usually the best way to avoid both muted tones in your subject and washed-out skies in your background. You might also find black and white pictures of an overcast day more pleasing than colour.
EDITING - Before you show anyone those hundreds of holiday photos or the 2 hour slide show, edit your work. Take out all the doubles, all the duds, the out of focus and general crap. Only show people the good stuff and your standing as a photographer immediately increases. Pro's can shoot a load of rubbish like anyone else; they just don't show it to anybody.
And a few helpful links.