“Two stops underexposed!” says the camera. “Nuts to you!” says the photographer. Manual exposure was necessary to keep the spots of sunshine from being blasted out into solid white.
You may notice that Father Pitt keeps returning to this one scene the way Monet kept returning to his water lilies. Not that old Pa Pitt compares himself to Monet, but there are certain rewards for the artist in returning to the same subject in different lights and different seasons. Getting to know the one place intimately reveals the changes wrought by time and light.