Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Need Help!! › Hi Chappydog,
Theres a couple things. One, a graduated nd filter will help cut down on the brightness of the sky in situations where treelines are low and you will always have both in the shot. When you are in situations where you will moving the camera from sky to total woods following a bird in, like while hunting timber you will have to adjust exposure in post. I would rather expose for the woods where all the detail is and just let it be over exposed for the sky. Sometimes you can expose for the middle ground and again work with it in post. I film in the woods a lot and deal with the same thing but a great deal of the way I handle it is by planning on fixing it in post much of the time.
If I was filming just for flying birds I would of course expose for the sky and keep some detail in it but if I have to follow from one to the other and don't have time for adjusting exposure then I would rather loose detail in the sky as the edit will only show 1-2 seconds of that and the audience would be focused on the duck.
I wish there was a do it all setting but if there is I haven't found it yet. On the other hand, learning about color grading and dealing with these issues in post can really save the day. Da Vinci Resolve lite is free and very powerful at handling such things. Then knowing what you can do in post will give you an idea of what you can get away with in the field. Every situation will require different tactics.