This is an impromptu composition that was dictated by the lighting conditions. My intention for this night photography session was to photograph stars in the sky, but the punchy light from the moon and the promenade limited the definition possible in the sky.
The camera settings here are a focal length of 18mm, aperture at F/5.6 and ISO speed of 400. Increasing the exposure would have blown out the highlights and decreasing the exposure would have rendered the scene too dark for my tastes. I originally started off at a higher ISO but the image looked washed out so I lowered it a full ISO stop. I do not shoot still photos in incremental ISO’s as anything other than native ISO values can deteriorate dynamic range or image quality. Other settings: RAW file format, Auto White Balance, Mirror Lock Up, 2 Second Timer, VC (stabilization) off, tripod firmly in the sand
The composition in this photo is a pretty straight-forward rule-of-thirds setup. The horizon is placed about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the frame and the houses occupy approximately 2/3 of the horizontal length of the frame. Putting those elements dead center in the photo would have killed the dynamics in my opinion.