Beginner looking for advice and tips

I'd like to start off by giving a little bit of background on myself. Feel free to skip ahead 2 paragraphs to get to the main point of this post.

I've just started to get into stock photo photography, something I just started to think about two weeks ago after reading some message board posts here. I was going away for a 9 day vacation which I knew would include some wonderful opportunities for taking photos. My vacation stops included Ottawa, Mt.Tremblant, Montreal, and Algonquin Park. (I do know that those type of pictures aren't necessary good stock photos though, and that there a lot like them out there.)

I've been using Dreamstime for about a year now buying photos for ads and websites. I run a small local advertising business with a partner where I do all the ad generation, manage printing and distribution of our co-op advertising. I also do basic websites and graphics work on the side. Once and a while I'd go take photos of peoples shops, buildings, or jobs to use in advertisements but for the most part I'd just purchase photos from Dreamstime. Other then that I'd just take photos at family gatherings and get together with friends. So my experience in taking photos is lacking and I'm slowly learning.

What I'm looking for is some good books or resources for beginners that may help me along in this process. I've found a few wonderful blogs and sites through people here on Dreamstime but would be interested in a few more in depth pieces that I could have on file or at hand. Specifically looking at something for lighting setup, contrast and exposure. I know a lot of these things can be corrected in Photoshop but I'm looking to cut down my work on editing photos. Beyond that any tips or links for a beginner would be a huge help.

So far I've had 5 photo/images approved, I've submitted 11 so far, most came back saying they were already a "very well covered subject", but a few came back with issues to do with lighting and exposure which I plan to try to correct in Photoshop to resubmit.

Photo credits: Frontdoormedia.

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