Ah white balance. I’ve found a setting that ‘just works’ for me, but the best way to figure that out is to experiment. I find custom settings work well for me and that I should almost always run very, very far away from presets like the different light bulbs or cloud cover conditions. Your best bet is to get a set of small gray cards or experiment! You’ll find something you like.
(Sorry for the super delay on answering this)
You’re right that I don’t use a tripod (or own one, if you have recommendations tell me about what you like), I don’t think I can prescribe any single setting to take the best night shots, but I can guide you on what will help you take good night shots in the long run.
I’ve already answered a question about getting good bokeh shots before, and that information is incredibly relevant for this.
Personally, I shoot in full Manual mode with Manual ISO because I’m a big enough nerd to now understand that (this wasn’t always the case, I trusted that my camera was smarter than me when it comes to figuring out what ISO to use, which means I only have to deal with aperture and shutter speed (note: if you don’t get these terms, don’t worry, I’ll talk about how you can get your camera to help you out in a bit, if you want to know more, I highly recommend the book Understanding Exposure) Learning what ISO did to your photos was something that took me a while to get to, so don’t worry if you don’t do that yet).
Other than that, shooting at night (which is less important now that the sun is setting later) is an exercise of hunting for light. Find a reasonably well lit area and your photos will shine.
I’ve been taking pictures every day now for 5 years and it has been an amazing experience. One of my favorite parts of this project was ordering prints of the past year’s photos. There’s something truly magical about seeing a print in real life, especially when it’s a photo you love.
I’d like to share the joy of seeing prints with you.
Over on Etsy, I’ve posted 3-packs and 5-packs of the 4x6 prints of images from the first three years of my 365 project. When you buy a print pack, I’ll choose images at random and ship it to you free (if you are in the US).
Please feel free to request any print from that timespan but keep in mind that I’ll send prints on a first come, first served basis so requests are subject to availability. If a print you requested isn’t available, I’ll replace it with another print at random.