Mon 24-Sep-12 11:29 PM | edited Tue 25-Sep-12 01:19 AM by roofwalker
Some suggestion I am sure will help you:
a) I want to underline "take your pics in raw format" as suggested in the thread. The recovery of this situation in any tool is much more easy and with a larger range of possibilities using raw format tha with JPG, you will be amazed.
b) Try CNX2 with raw format. When I bought my first Nikon DSLR (D80), by looking the JPGs I was convinced I was wasted my money until I just open a raw picture with CNX2. With CNX2 and Nikon raw pictures, the only irreversible settings in your camera are focal length, aperture, and exposure time, everything else can be easily changed in PP. Use this link "http://nikonimglib.com/cnx2/" to download a trial version and see what happen. For a case like the one in your OP just move one slider in CNX2: "Shadow Protection" in the "Quick Fix" control.
c) If you are using JPEG format after all: When facing HDR lighting, use the "Neutral" Picture control mode. Looking the exif data in your picture I can see it was taken with the "Standard" mode. But beside the Neutral mode, the other controls, to give you more contrast and a punchy picture, they will eat the detail in the shadows leaving you with less dynamic range. Please check the info about Picture Controls in "http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond7000/14". Your picture has lost around one stop in the shadows by using Standard instead Neutral. Considering this and (b) your picture has lost around 2 stops total. If you don't like the general result with Neutral mode consider Dave's suggestion in the post #21, and/or a later post processing at your taste when necessary -for example- using curves with a shape similar to those shown in the previous link. Please notice this: with raw pictures and CNX2 you won't care what picture control was set in your camera when you took the picture, you can change it later in CNX2.