I am not going to try and cheat myself or any of the people that read this and pick the first photo that turned out. Hint, hint, the first photo didn’t turn out. So, without further a due, here it is.
This was taken with the default settings for night landscape. No tripod was used and I had the steady shot turned on. The picture was taken from my backyard across Lake Meridian in Kent, WA. It clearly didn’t capture what my eyes were seeing. I took several photos the night of October 4th but none of them were clear or even close to what I was seeing
I picked up a couple of books on low light and night photography. The first book I skimmed through about half of it and determined it was clearly over my head. The writer assumed that the person reading that book had taken photos before, knew the terminology and were familiar enough with their camera to make sensitive adjustments.
On the following day, October 5th, I took some photos in the day. This allowed me to see what buttons I was hitting and the natural lighting helped the photos get sharper. I could get stuff in focus, but after locking the focus and recomposing the scene things kept getting blurry. I got frustrated and grabbed my tripod. This helped some, but my tripod is one of those $15 super lightweight ones that picks up every vibration.
I found a cure for this by using the timer. I started using the two second timer. So after depressing the the shutter button, it gave the camera and tripod a bit the stop shaking. This improved the quality of the images even more. I ended up using the ten second timer to help reduce almost all the the blurry images. Here is a photo before I grabbed the tripod.