It's subjects like this that have made me shoot some film again. I like the image.
Despite you stacking various images to control the DR of the scene we still have a harsh blown out highlight in the sky at the left and it looks like you have tried to control that, the picture has ended up with a strange balance between light and shade. If that is the effect you are trying to produce then ok, but I suspect you were trying to control the scene and get it to look natural. Seriously a roll of 120 Portra would of got it in one shot and kept the tones in their natural order.
Thanks for your comments.
I never used Porta and had infrequent access to a box that would hold 120 film. Long ago I worked mostly with 35 mm and some studio bound view cameras. Then I found that film has many endearing characteristics. Generally the bigger the physical area of film the better nuances of tones. If only it wasn’t such a chore to get to a workable state! But such trade offs are commonly done in the name of appealing to the consumer.
I've read that the DR for MF cameras (digital) is notably greater than the top DSLRs of today (though the differences there appears to be diminishing). Some who use the newer PhaseOne backs say (and demonstrate) the equipment has phenomenal DR. I’d love to get my hands on some of this hardware. Alas for the time, all I have is my trusty D80 and a little practice with HDR.
Regarding the DR of the image, the cloud exposures were done at 1/15 and the building exposures were done at 1 second (iso 100). The buildings were nearly featureless silhouettes when exposing for the sky. To capture the building colors and details, the sky lost all useful detial. It may be possible to capture the DR of this scene with a MF camera. I dunno. It would certainly make the task a whole lot easier if it could!
This was my first work done in CS5. Regarding the white area of the skies, thanks for pointing that out. In the raw files the cloud detail is all there but it’s reduced in the pano merge and completely gone in the web image. After your note, I looked and found the data loss took place during the hdr merge part of the process.
Also part of the problem appears due to the screen capture program I use to make jpg files. What do others use to make web images from .tif or psd files?
I'm going to be busy for a few days but I’ll definitely re-work the image to restore the cloud detail. Thanks again!