I'm new to the forums here and i must say it is full of information! I am having huge trouble getting my head around this for about a month i have struggled and read and read and read about how to take night shots of landscape photos.
For my particular shot i am trying to achieve, it is of sydney harbour at night time between 8 and 12 p.m.
Now i understand that the best light would preferably at dusk (around 7'ish at the moment with daylight savings) and i am going to do this tonight, but i am just intrigued to the following questions i have:
I have read A LOT of articles about night photography. I thought i understood it, but in fact i was totally wrong. It is about 100m to the city from my location, it is pretty well lit, i am shooting from ground level and about 10metres up, there is a lot of sky involved i would say.
Now that i have explained my location, i will explain my camera settings.
I am using a Canon EOS 400D with the standard 18-55mm lense. I plan to upgrade to a 50d and buy a canon 10-22mm lense in about a month, but i want to get this shot right, with my current setup.
The settings i have read about, tell me to use an aperture of around f/11 to f/22 and a longer shutter speed of around 20-30 seconds. I have tried this on NUMEROUS occasions, using different focal points, different metering modes, etc.... and it comes out VERY underexposed. I check the histograms and it is just hugging the left hand side of the histogram. I change the exposure compensation meter and bracket it and no matter how much or how less i set it too its always underexposed.
BUT, when i use a wide aperture of around f3.5-5/5.6 and a 20-30second shutter speed it comes out brilliant, but some highlights are blown out and i just cant figure out how to perfectly expose the shot. I cant find that middle which is perfection. I always shoot using an ISO of 100, a sturdy tripod and a wireless remote release.
It is the same angle as the linked photo below (Sorry if this is copyright i believe it isn't as i am jsut displaying it and not wanting to "copy" the shot, i am using it as an example)
Can you please help me out here!? Mainly on what settings to use and to maximise the light e.g. focus points, time of day shooting etc etc.