These images were taken back when we were in Flathead Lake, Montana. I hate feeling restricted when I shoot. I will often hear other photographers talk about the rules they have for photography...specifically regarding ISO. Boo to that I say. Rules were made to be broken. Embrace using your camera to it's fullest. Night shooting is definitely one way to do that. Even though both of these images were taken at night, the results were created two very different ways.
The first image was taken using a tripod because I knew that it would be impossible to hand hold. I removed myself as much as I could from any lightsources--the green light you see at the bottom is the result of a street light fixture at the boat launch. Obviously, I put the camera on the tripod and pointed it at the sky. I played around with the settings until I got exactly what I was hoping for. I've done this enough to be able to guess a good starting point and then keep trying until I get what I want. In the end, the settings were ISO 2000, F2.8, SS 20seconds.
The second image was taken while Jack was building a campfire. The only two lightsources were the fire and the lamp that Bob is holding. I know from experience that I can hand hold nice and steady to a shutter speed 1/30...any slower than that and I will most likely get camera shake. I opened the aperture to f2.8(as wide as this lens allows) and I played with the ISO until I got the desired results. In this case, the ISO is 10,000. It is hard to believe how clean the image is but today's cameras are truly meant to be pushed. At least, that is my belief ;)
I love taking risks in my photography. Thought I'd share one easy way for you to try and take some risks as well.