Have you tried ADL and seen skin tone shifts? n moderation, ADL can be a real benefit in preserving headroom and lighting shadows. It surely would be faster than taking multiple images to get a similar effect. If you are close enough, the bright sky would be tamed by exposing for the sky and using fill flash to bring up your subject's exposure. A graduated ND is effective in helping bring the bright sky into the DR range of your printer/screen. I use my SB900 on-camera very often on bright days that would otherwise result in too much backlighting. Fill by flash or reflector is needed much of the day for people shots to avoid the dark shadow eyes and harsh creases hard sunlight causes. If they are people shots and there is the option, head over to some sort of shading for more flattering light. HDR might not be as effective since it is hard to expect people to remain still for a 5-9 shot sequence. It is not as effective with people shots as architecture and landscape.