Now that you have bought yourself a nice remote controller and the requisite tripod, you have new possibilities. You can easily take pictures of yourself, be part of a group photograph, and you are equipped for long exposure shots: light painting, night photography and more.
When configuring your camera for long exposure shots, two possibilities are available to you (on most DSLRs): set a slow shutter speed (a few seconds for example), or activate the bulb mode.
The bulb mode lets you handle manually the exposure time: you press the shutter button, keep it pressed, and release it whenever you want to close the shutter. Although you could just press the button on the camera itself, using a remote control is more than advised to avoid camera shake (yes, even with the tripod it is safer to use a remote).
If you are new to photography, you must be thinking that an exposure time of a few seconds is huge, but with a very limited light, if you want to capture a whole scene you don't have much of a choice. Experiment, check the image histogram to find the best exposure time.
I know long exposure shots need to be developped, it will be the subject of upcoming posts.