Here’s a photo from Pt. Imperial where I made the journey from outside the park to the rim before sunrise. It was a perfect morning with pretty clear skies.
I took the photograph before sunrise at 6:40 am which was 13 minutes before sunrise. When shooting pre-sunrise, if you start early when the alpenglow type light is evident, you have less contrast compared to the minutes before the sunrise.
This means you might be able to process the image with a bright sky in Adobe Camera RAW. So, I always bracket my landscape photos, especially when they include a bright sky or similar. That way I have light and dark exposures to blend if needed. You can see that there is enough detail in the foreground and sky too bright and darken for a final image.
Here is an exposure processed in Adobe Camera RAW where I added a Graduated Filter effect to darken the sky. Not bad, but not great.
So, it is one reason I and many others prefer to exposure blend and create an image that better represents what we want the final image to look like. I combined the perfect sky and perfect foreground for this final image. And I feel this strategy offers more tools to work with.
As one example, the sky in the Graduated Filter example here could not pull out any more detail in the left part of the sky and it went kinda grey. Again, not bad but I like the composite better.
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