WOW! great thread, its amazing how these small simple things we neglect can make a big difference. Theres a friend of mine who is an amateur and really wants to improve his photography skills. ill tell him to read through this thread.
one more question, to get those really good quality photos, does one have to get an SLR Camera (like for adjusting arpeture and shutter speed) or can all that be done with a simple canon/sony digital camera?