Took a trip down to the seafront last night and tried to recreate a shot i had previously taken during sunset. The problem with the original shot was that there was no detail in the shadow areas along the seafront and the harbour arm. The original shot was taken with a single exposure shot in RAW and processed in lightroom and photoshop.
As you can see above the original was a slightly tighter frame but has no detail in the harbour, the houses in the background or the lighthouse on the harbour arm. The sun was exposed correctly which gave a nice glow and rays but because the dynamic range was far to high , shooting directly into the sun , there was not a lot of detail left to pull from the shadow areas. The shot i took last night was taken on a tripod with a o.9nd soft grad Lee filter to balance the exposure as best i could and also took a 7 shot bracket. I merged all seven images together to produce the final result. A few tweaks in lightroom and photoshop. Did i need seven images ? Possibly not but i thought i would cover my bases and take them anyway. I could have pulled more detail out in the final shot but it would not have looked right as it was after all a sunset. But as with most things in photography its all a matter of personal taste.