Struggling with blown highlights - have I got this wrong?

Started Jun 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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davidevans1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,474
Struggling with blown highlights - have I got this wrong?

I've been taking some shots of waterfalls in wooded gorges, and despite using graduated ND filters am still having problems with blown highlights in the sky.

I took some on Saturday when the sky was sunny with patchy cloud and could only just recover the sky (in LR) despite using five stops of graduated ND filter (a .9 and a .6 stacked). I don't have filters to get more than 5 stops ND.

Today was cloudy so the sky was non descript anyway, but again a real struggle to stop the highlight warning on the sky from flashing.

On both occasions I reckon the exposure range in the shots are about 13 to 14 stops.

Some of the water is blown as well, but as these are long exposure I've lost most of the detail in the water anyway, so it's dry much a secondary problem to the blown sky.

I'm watching the histogram and I'm at the point where the taken shot is heaped way to the left side in order to try and get the sky not too far off the right side!

What's the best way to handle this sort of situation? Is it possible to archieve the exposure in one shot or is the only answer using layers in PS?

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