Contrary to the belief of people knowing little about photography, night scenes are best reproduced in pictures without firing flash. Well, have you been to the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Peak in Hong Kong seeing people photographing the beautiful night scenes with the flash on? The best advice to them could be, "But you can't possible light up the whole city with your flash."
Instead of a flash, you will need a tripod, a mini one if that suits you. For me, I always bring along this one with me. As we all know, the trick of photographing night scenes is to close down the aperture and drag the shutter speed. Depending on the lighting conditions, I have found an exposure over 2 seconds will start to present false colours in the final image. Of course, this is a general rule of thumb and personal preferences which cannot say the same in all situations.
The right tools give you a head start to take good photos. Most importantly, you need patience. Take for example, I stayed on the meadows fronting the Royal Crescent for almost two hours to wait for the right moment when the dusk was almost done and the tourists were fewest. I didn't just sit there doing nothing. I scouted the location to find the right spot to take photos. Actually, I had looked at some pictures of the Royal Crescent so that I could avoid doing similar shots and do some original shots.
Take another example, the foreground of the Bath Abbey was actually marked by elements undesirable in the image. In this case, any patient photographer would have done the same as I did: walked around the spot to locate the camera to give the final image a better foreground. Here I painstakingly put the camera on a cafe table, had it mounted on the tripod and minded the edge of the awning along the frame top.
It goes without saying that we all need a good eye for photos. For example, a single light spot at a darkened area can make an interesting photo if you gives it the right exposure. I can assure you that if you had walked along this road with me, you might not have noticed this spot. It didn't look as dramatic in reality, which was made possible here by slightly dragging the shutter speed.
« The corridor of the Pulteney Bridge
The Pulteney Bridge, the must-see in Bath which boosts the clever architecture of making the corridor of the bridge look like anything but a bridge, was amazingly aglow at night. If you go to Bath, don't miss it at night. And don't miss the exit leading you from the bridge corridor to the lower bank where you can take a photo of the scene with brilliant reflections in the water. Bath is even more fantastic at night!