The problem with high-contrast images.
A high-contrast image is one with both dark shadows and bright highlights. The dynamic range of such an image can exceed your camera’s ability to capture it, which is why a photo of a person standing in front of a light-filled window fails to catch the details of the person’s face as well as the scene outside. Either you get the person’s features and the window is a bright blur, or you get the outside details but none of the person’s features. In this case, the dynamic range of the image is greater than that of the camera, forcing you to choose between focusing on the dark subject or the light window.
Explore the dynamic range of your camera.
Finding the right balance between light and dark will lead to better images, so test your camera’s limits. Try to capture highlights and shadow detail in various lighting conditions. Use the luminosity histogram, which you can view on your camera’s LCD, to help. It graphs the pixels you’re capturing at each intensity level. If the graph has spikes on the left or right and a valley in the middle, the image exceeds the dynamic range of your camera.