On the way to the beach for sunset the other day we saw this scene in Maui. Although on a timeline we decided to stop for a quick five minute shoot. The dynamic range of this composition was about 13 stops. Handheld with a pro-sumer camera to cover a 13 stop range can be a little challenging. To increase the difficulty the location is directly under the approach corridor for Kahului Airport so airliners are always overhead.
I grabbed my Canon 5D Mk II and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L to try the shot. I shot on my User Setting C3 which is optimized for HDR. You can learn more about user settings by looking at the following link from this blog (Custom User Settings) With such a range I needed to shoot my first series exposure compensated to -2 E.V. After the three shots, I held very still and then ran up to +2 E.V. for the second three shots. This gave me shots at -4, -2, 0, 0, +2, and +4 (obviously I rejected and deleted one of the 0 shots.)
I used Lightroom to prep the files then exported to Photomatix Pro for processing. Back in Lightroom, after tone mapping, I stacked the tone mapped TIFF and the best single shot of the airliner in Photoshop. After some quick masking, the airliner was there. It's good to always remember that you have access to each of your exposures even after you tone map.
I did a quick black and white version and will play with these a little more when I get back to Light and Cali.