One thing lots of photographers forget (including me) is that the camera wants to “fix” exposures to what it thinks is best. So if you’re exposing for a black horse, you want it at the same level of darkness as it is in life. But the camera thinks that’s too dark and will brighten it to gray. The same with exposing for a white wedding dress; the camera wants it to be grey.
And as Bear Woods points out, you often need to adjust with exposure compensation. Of course you don’t want to blow out the blacks or whites either. So with extreme blacks or whites, I tend to tweak things and maybe pull up the histogram.
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