The sun right into the camera? 9 exposures with 1 EV step between each. I was just on a small business trip to New York. I managed to get time to go to B&H and get myself a Promote control. For some reason I can’t buy that in Denmark. The Promote control should be a tool in every HDR photographers backpack.
The Promote control allows (through a cabel) to take as many HDR photos you like. I can then take 9 HDR photos automatically with my Nikon D600 (which is normally limited to 3 shots), just as I can with my Nikon D800. But I can also increase the EV step between each shot. The D800 is locked to 1 EV step, which means that if I really wan’t to cover some dynamic range, with the Sun within the frame and dark shadows too, I have to switch to manual. Another nasty side effect of taken 9 bracketed shots with the D800 is the 675 Mb impact on the memory card (ouch!).
With the Promote control I can take what ever number of photos I like with whatever EV step. Now that is cool, and I can’t wait to get it in use for real.
For this shot I didn’t have the Promote Control yet and took all 9 shots of 75 Mb each.
About the processing
I used Photomatix to tone map the image. Afterwards I have spend quite some time in Photoshop blending layers. The sky kept coming out dull and gray from Photomatix, so I had to mix in another sky from one of the original photos, but it was still too flat. So I made a duplicate layer and started playing around with the Red, Green and Blue channels individually in the Hue/Saturation dialog (CTRL + U) untill I got what I wanted. However, that ruined the lower part of the image completely, but that was not problem, I just mixed in the sky with the rest of the image.
Finally I spend quite a lot of time cleaning up small peckles on the ice and the bridge.