I had a similar situation when I visited Disneyland in California a few days ago. I was in the Tomorrowland and wanted to take a photo of the top of the Rocket ride while standing in a line for some other ride. Top of the Rocket ride looked nice but it was too dark because the Sun was also in the same direction.
Here is how I handled the situation. I took a photo in the Auto mode with my Olympus E-PM2 camera. I let the camera do the metering and do whatever it thought right. I knew the photo will not be good.
Now see the photo below. It was much better than the photo in the AUTO mode. The sky is washed out but
There are times when we need to ask camera to take in less light. One case that comes to my mind is when you want to take photos of full Moon. Most cameras do not take good photos of the Moon in AUTO mode but you can move the EV value to -2 (or try with different negative numbers) and you can take nice photos of the Moon. Click on this link to my earlier post about it: