My favourite of all the basic photography tips is: - Be aware of 'Camera Shake'. This is the biggest cause of blurred photographs.
While you may think you are 'as steady as a rock' and certainly not be aware of any movement, the slower the shutter speed, the greater the chances that your precious shots will be ruined by camera shake.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent this happening.
1. Plant both feet firmly on the ground. Create a natural and comfortable stance in which your elbows are tucked firmly against your body while the camera is pressed snugly against your face.
2. Just before you take the picture, take and hold your breath (this will help to relax you) depress the shutter button halfway, you will feel a slight resistance then completely depress the shutter button to take your shot. Even the action of depressing the shutter button too quickly, because of the excitement of capturing the 'shot of the century' can cause a blurred image.
3. Consider using a Tripod. If you are a coffee drinker (seriously now) or experience any kind of hand shake, then do yourself, and everyone else, a favour and use a Tripod. Your shots will come out much clearer and more focused and will look much more professional too. When using a Tripod, think about using a cable release as well. This means you don't even have to touch the camera in order to depress the shutter.
4. If you don't have a Tripod, use the next best thing available and brace yourself against a solid object, such as a wall, or a tree, or even the shoulder of a friend.
Tripods, like cameras, come in all sizes and weights, from the smallest tabletop tripods to your large professional models, and everything in between. If you are serious about photography, then it is important for you to find at least a couple of tripods to suit your needs. While it may sometimes seem a little inconvenient to be carting a Tripod around with all of the other camera equipment, you will soon see that the quality of your shots will be vastly improved by the use of one.
A Monopod could also be a very useful addition to your kit.