#2. "RE: Night Photography" In response to Reply # 0
I agree that manual mode should work. To get an approximation of settings, see what the f-stop and shutter speed are in A mode and then dial-down the shutter speed in M-mode until you get what you want.
#3. "RE: Night Photography" In response to Reply # 0
St Petersburg, RU
The camera when set to an automatic exposure mode makes a major decision on its own that the area under the focus point is a mid tone, half way between deepest black and brightest white in visual perception, which equals about 18% of the illumination from black to white. So your cameras was trying to make where you focuses, a moderately light mid tone instead of the very dark shadow you saw with your eye. You can work around that very easily, by estimating how much over exposed the subject would be if exposed to 18% grey and simply dialing in negative exposure compensation to counter the boost that the meter is telling the camera to apply. Or an even simpler method preferred by most photographers is to use manual exposure mode and meter then increase speed or aperture to display on the meter the amount you need to under expose the object. It is easier than it reads and luckily we have a good tool in the rear monitor to try settings and verify if the guess is right. Try 1 and them 2 stops to start in under exposure.
You can also bracket only in the negative compensation direction from base auto expose. So in a series of shots, each will be a step lower in exposure then the previous so one of them will just what you intended.
There are more precise ways but they are a bit more complicated so I will not describe then now. Manual mode is your friend, it gives you total creative control and has a meter to tell you lots of things about the scene or spot you are metering. Stan St Petersburg Russia