Background is not blown out, but there is almost no detail in the bird, it is a silhouette (a little can be seen in the colour image, but I prefer the B&W version below). Processed in Lightroom:
This example I chose to keep the shadows deep and not expose for the people at the cafe - I think the deep shadows are intreging. I boosted the saturation somewhat in Lightroom.
In this case I chose to expose for the bright highlights on the leaves and keep the background dark (it is quite messy and not interesting) to isolate the brilliant green leaves of the plant. I have pulled back on both the highlights and shadows, the highlights were slightly overexposed and I wanted to make the shadows slightly darker. I also increased contrast slightly.
This image of the inside of the Powerhouse Museum is lit only by natural light from large windows and skylights. I needed to pull back on the highlights to bring any detail in through the windows. This probably wouldn't be possibly with a jpeg, so for the assignment I may need to either not include the windows or reframe the shot not to include them. The shot would also be improved with the inclusion of people at the tables etc.
Freeman, M. (2009), Perfect Exposure. East Sussex: Ilex