Keep an eye on the weather outside. Weather conditions can create many opportunities to improve or destroy a great picture. You can still get some great outdoor shots on a cloudy day. Compose your photos so that the gray sky is not actually in the frame. Don't let it stop you from taking great pictures.
If you are having difficulty holding your camera straight, purchase a tripod. A tripod will go a long way in helping to keep your camera in place, so you can focus on other variables other than balance. Tripods work great if you are in the wilderness or on an uneven terrain.
http://adorama.com In this episode of Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace, Mark introduces the basics of proper exposure with the exposure triangle.