A few things to consider there Mark. First thing photographers need is light and you have little of it during the night. I would very much recommend using a sturdy tripod or something in the environment (bench, fence, ground) to support your camera. This allows you to use longer shutter speeds without having to deal with motion blur or using high ISO which will have a negative impact on details because of noise. Using a fast lens (one with low f-number/wide aperture) will help you gather light too. Secondly, I would set your camera to shoot RAW's or RAW+JPEG. The RAW file can be used to correct issues with lighting, white balance, shadows etc. in post processing. Also, set your camera using low ISO if you use support to keep noise low and details to the maximum. Set exposure metering to Multiple, not spot or center weight. Also, for ease of exposure metering you could use Aperture Priority mode on your camera, so the camera will calculate the shutter speeds for you.
These are just a few tips which will help you. Most important is the support for your camera to minimize movement and shooting in RAW so you can correct errors in lighting etc. easily at home.