We like to have a large window in the living room so we can connect with the world out there. It is a must. We gather around it like a warm campfire. I like to take pictures near it too. It casts a nice, soft light that can make it very easy to get great portraits. The picture above though, was not so easy to get. Modern cameras are great. They allow you to take a decent picture in a lot of situations that were very challenging not long ago. In the picture above, I knew that the camera would either expose for the tree outside, leaving a completely black subject, or expose for the subject leaving the outside almost completely white. If I remember correctly, I focused on him, recomposed, and told the camera to overexpose by one stop. What I was trying to do was not lose any detail outside, or on him. I moved some sliders in Lightroom to pull the outside back a bit and him up a bit. The result is what I was imagining when I took the picture.
When I was learning this, long before digital, I had to take the pictures, trying over and under exposing by what I thought was the right amount, and then wait until I had the money to process the film. Next time you have a picture with both really bright, and really dark, try over or under exposing. (It might be +/- EV on your camera.) Just look at what you get on the back of the camera. It’s free.