This is page 3 of 4. "Practicing" begins here.
In this picture the Heron was properly exposed against the dark background. Notice how rich this photo looks.
Other than a slight color enhancement, this is how it looked directly from the camera.
Remember, even when they are all correctly exposed some pictures will look more vibrant than others. A good HDRI program will take care of most of your flat picture problems. For now; Google the term “HDRI software.” In the not too distant future I will offer some for sale through my site.
Here are a few shots that were properly exposed regardless of how dark or bright the background is.
Odd angles and unique perspectives of your subjects make for interesting photos.