With a sky like this, the Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina was an ideal setup for High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. This shot is from a trip in December of last year. It was cold and the day kept going from cloudy to sunny and everything in between. You can see from this image that the sky at times overwhelmed the beauty of the lighthouse. For this photo, I tried to do a visual balance of both.
Processing: I loaded seven images, shot from -3 to +3 ev into Nik HDR Efex Pro where I did tone mapping, selective sharpening and overall structuring. In Adobe Photoshop, I corrected the colors using Hue/Saturation, modified the contrast and tones using Curves and added a small amount of High Pass filter for sharpening.
For the version below, I moved the image into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 and applied a warm filter and light vignette to allow the lighthouse to stand out a bit more.
Equipment used: Nikon D700 with 28-70mm lens at f/2.8, 28mm, f/8, ISO 200.