Common Lighting Scenarios
Almost all scenes that you photograph can fit into one of several distinct types of lighting situation. The three main divisions (the three technically most important) are based on contrast, and are Average, Low Contrast, and High Contrast. Of these, the one likely to cause the most problems is High Contrast.
This is particularly so in digital capture, partly because highlights are more easily blown out digitally than with film, and partly because low-contrast images are simple to adjust.
What makes up these lighting situations is a combination of the light (bright sun, spotlight, overcast, and so on), the subject (its color, brightness, shininess), and how you identify the subject. This last point is critical. What ...