As improved as dynamic range is in modern cameras, there are plenty of instances in which you will not able to easily capture full coverage of shadows to highlights. In this video, learn a complete workflow for improving the dynamic range of those high-contrast images.
I distinctly remember the first shot I ever took with my first camera. I came home from work and set it up and was desperate to give it a go. I hopped in my car and drove out into the countryside a little more and as I was en route, a storm hit. I thought at the time it was poor luck, but in actuality, it was very good luck.
As the sun was setting, the clouds cracked and the bright, post-storm light came bursting through in brilliant orange. I pulled the car over, got out, and took a shot of the sky. The thick black clouds dotted around made the scene dark enough that my first image was blurry. Not knowing exactly how to fix that, I put my camera on the roof of my car and tried again, with success. I was thrilled with what I saw on the back of the camera and raced home to look at it.
The resulting image wasn't bad, but what disappointed me was the dynamic range. The foreground hadn't been exposed for and was almost completely black. Cameras gave out less power raw files back then so recovering the shadows came at a real cost. I researched how to overcome this problem and the first technique I learned was to shoot bracketed, and that's a technique I still use today for various applications.