Last week I exposed this view of New England Central 611 (Brattleboro to Palmer) crossing the Connecticut River at East Northfield, Massachusetts.
To compensate for the back lit high-contrast scene, I made a few necessary adjustments in post processing.
Working with the Camera RAW file, I applied a digital graduated filter across the sky and locally lowered highlight density, while altering the contrast curve and boosting saturation.
I then made global adjustment to contrast and saturation across the entire image, while brightening the shadow areas. The intent was to better hold detail in the sky.
To make this possible, it was necessary to expose for the sky, and allow the train and bridge to become comparatively dark. I did this knowing I’d make adjustments after the exposure.
For more detail on this photographic technique see: Irish Rail 085 with Ballast Train at Sunset—lessons in exposure and contrast adjustment.