I've been thinking about bracketing alot lately. Not sure why, but it is something that helps me take pictures. I tend to use the Aperture or Priority settings on my camera the most, and I also seem to take photos that are a bit overexposed. So to work on this, one method that I started using to try and find the right exposure, is called bracketing. Bracketing is a setting on your camera that allows you to take a photo that is "overexposed", "underexposed" and "just right" according to your camera's settings. Once set, I can then point-and-shoot a scene, and the camera will take three pictures -- one at an exposure value that is "just right," one that is at an exposure value that is less than this setting, and one that is at an exposure value that is more than this setting. You will then be able to look at the three photos and compare them. You will be able to see which one is the best. This allows you to take pictures with more confidence of getting the correct exposure. Once I look a closer look at the three pictures, I could then use the one I like the best.. AND be aware of the settings that were used for the exposure/scene. This is a good learning tool, and allows you to have photos to compare side by side.
Here are three photos I took in the fall that I bracketed to try and get a good exposure.
As you can see, one photo is exposed fairly well. The next photo is underexposed, and the last photo is overexposed.
I don't remember the settings I used for these photos, but I could use a histogram viewer and it would allow me to see what the settings were. I happen to like the second one the best, and would, in the future, use those settings for a similar scene. I took these photos on a fall evening just before the sun was setting. Again, it is helpful to use this method to get the right exposure and to learn what works for different scenes.
As always, have fun, and keep on shooting!