Properly exposing a scene which includes a large body of water can often be difficult because water is highly reflective. Thus when your camera's light meter senses a highly reflective object it wants to underexpose it (make it appear darker). Doing so will result in a loss of detail in your subjects that may be on or near the water.
The solution: When highly reflective water makes up a large percentage of your image, overexpose from the camera meter reading by one stop or more (depending on the lighting conditions, etc.) Your best bet is to meter off an object other than the water (exclude the water from the meter reading) and set your camera to expose for these objects. This situation also applies to snow and beach scenes.
Beware of the opposite situation (a large dark object). In that case, underexpose from the camera meter reading.
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